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Is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Covered by Workers' Compensation in Maryland?

Many Maryland employees associate sudden and unexpected accidents as the trigger for filing a workers’ compensation claim with an employer. However, you may not realize that occupational diseases and injuries may also be covered under your employer’s Maryland workers’ compensation policy.

Carpal tunnel syndrome falls under this category as it is a type of repetitive stress injury. However, you have to be able to prove that your carpal tunnel syndrome was caused by your job duties and is not related to something else, or is not another condition entirely. This is where you need the expertise of a Maryland workers’ compensation attorney to help.

What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Also referred to as CTS, carpal tunnel syndrome is a medical condition in which your nerves and tendons in your fingers become compressed as they move along your wrists. The symptoms can include weakness, tingling, pain, and numbness. In most cases, the symptoms appear gradually, and then begin to worsen as time goes on and you continue to engage in the same repetitive motion. In rare cases, carpal tunnel syndrome can appear in a shorter period of time.

Some types of workers are more prone to getting carpal tunnel syndrome than others. These include:

  • Data entry or anyone who primarily sits at a computer all day
  • Chefs, butchers, and other food service preparation positions
  • Delivery people and truck drivers
  • Some administrative personnel

There are other health conditions and factors that may play a role in who is more likely to develop CTS over others. For example, joint or bone diseases like arthritis; hormonal imbalance or changes like pregnancy or menopause; and blood sugar level changes like with Type 2 diabetes can all play a role. If you have other wrist conditions, like a sprain or strain, it could increase the risk for carpal tunnel syndrome as well.

Treating Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

As with other conditions and injuries, the treatment protocol for carpal tunnel syndrome is pretty conservative to start, if possible. Immobilizing the wrists with splints and braces is one option, and you may be told to start physical therapy which can strengthen and stretch the area. Medications like anti-inflammatories and steroid shots may be recommended as ways to relieve your pain. In serious cases, surgery may be needed to help decrease the pressure on the tendons and nerves affected by CTS.

Foregoing treatment of CTS is not recommended, as leaving it untreated puts you at risk for complete loss of function at some point.

Getting CTS Covered Under Workers’ Compensation

The main question for coverage under workers’ compensation is whether or not your job duties were the main contributing factors to developing carpal tunnel syndrome. The insurance company will try to point to other factors, conditions, and perhaps even your daily hobbies as the source of your carpal tunnel syndrome. You have the burden to prove the connection.

If you have carpal tunnel syndrome and need assistance with your Maryland workers’ compensation claim, contact the Law Office of Robert R. Castro today at 301-870-1200 to schedule an initial consultation.

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