If you suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome that prevents you from working, you may be eligible for Social Security Disability benefits. Because the majority of initial benefits claims are denied, your best bet is to consult with a knowledgeable disability attorney.
At the Law Office of Carey Thompson, PC, our practice is dedicated to advocating for disabled individuals in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. We have comprehensive knowledge of the eligibility requirements for disability benefits and will guide you through all aspects of the claims process.
Obtaining benefits for carpal tunnel syndrome can be tricky because the condition is treatable in most cases. Let our attorneys handle all the details of your claim so that you can focus on healing. We offer free consultations and there is never a fee until we win benefits for you. Contact our El Paso office today to get started.
What Is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a physical condition resulting from pressure on the median nerve that controls movement and sensation in the wrist and hands. The carpal tunnel is a narrow passageway through the wrist that is surrounded by bones and ligaments. CTS is common in occupations that involve extensive use and repetitive motion of the wrists and hands, including:
- Cashiers, receipt processors
- Electronics workers
- Factory/assembly workers
- Food processing
- Tailors/garment workers
- Word processors
Carpal tunnel syndrome can cause tingling, soreness, or numbness in the hands and fingers, as well as weakness and muscle damage that can cause loss of hand function.
What Are The Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
According to the Mayo Clinic, the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome usually start gradually but can worsen over time. Common symptoms of CTS include:
- Tingling and numbness in the fingers or hand, particularly the thumb, index, middle, and ring fingers. The tingling sensation may travel from the wrist up the arm and numbness may become constant.
- Weakness in one or both hands that affects a person’s ability to grip or carry objects
- Difficulty moving the fingers
- Significant pain in the wrist that may extend to the elbow and sometimes the shoulder
- Degeneration of muscle under the thumb
Left untreated, carpal tunnel syndrome can be debilitating and prevent someone from working for extended periods of time or even permanently if the damage to the nerves and muscles in the wrist is irreversible.
How Is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Treated?
If CTS is diagnosed early, nonsurgical methods may help improve the condition, including:
- Wrist splinting or bracing – A splint or brace that holds the wrist in place while you sleep can help relieve nighttime symptoms of tingling and numbness and help reduce daytime symptoms
- Anti-inflammatory medication – Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (e.g. ibuprofen) can temporarily relieve pain from carpal tunnel syndrome
- Corticosteroids – The carpal tunnel is injected with a corticosteroid (e.g. cortisone) to decrease inflammation and relieve pressure on the median nerve
If symptoms are severe or don’t respond to treatment, surgery may be necessary. Procedures include:
- Endoscopic surgery – A telescope-like device with a tiny camera attached to it (endoscope) is used to see inside the carpal tunnel; a surgeon cuts the ligament through one or two small incisions in the hand or wrist.
- Open surgery – A surgeon makes an incision in the palm of the hand over the carpal tunnel and cuts through the ligament to relieve pressure in the median nerve
This healing process after carpal tunnel surgery typically takes several months. Soreness or weakness may take from several weeks to a few months to resolve; however, symptoms that were initially severe may not abate completely after surgery.
Why You Need a Disability Attorney
Because many individuals with carpal tunnel syndrome can often continue working if they receive proper treatment, convincing a disability examiner that your CTS prevents you from working can be difficult. But working with an experienced disability attorney improves the odds of having your claim approved.
Our legal team has the skills and experience to demonstrate that your carpal tunnel syndrome is severe enough to prevent you from working. Disability examiners rely on the list of qualifying impairments (the Blue Book) to guide them in making disability determinations. Although CTS is not specifically listed, you may still qualify for benefits if your condition is medically equivalent to a listed soft tissue injury or the result of another listed impairment, such as arthritis or diabetes.
We will work closely with your doctor to gather the necessary medical evidence to support your claim. If your initial claim is denied, we are well-prepared to handle your disability appeal and represent you during the disability hearing. You can depend on us to stand by you every step of the way and fight for the benefits you need and deserve.
Contact An Experienced El Paso Disability Attorney
At the Law Office of Carey Thompson, we are well aware that not being able to use your hands due to carpal tunnel syndrome can cause physical pain, emotional distress, and financial hardship. Trust our team to help you navigate the Social Security system and protect your rights. Contact our office today for a free consultation.