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Carpal Tunnel/Repetitive Stress Syndrome in TN-Workers Comp Issue - Printable Version

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Carpal Tunnel/Repetitive Stress Syndrome in TN-Workers Comp Issue - Tizz - 01-03-2009 10:42 PM

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Hello
Im new to this Forum and I need some Help/Advice if possible. I started a new job in Feb of 2008 in a Medical Office in Middle TN. I am a receptionist but job requires me to not only answer phones, But to also do lots of paperwork and entering things in the computer for 8 hours a day,every day,5 days a week. I never had any type of problem with my hand,wrist or fingers until recently.I have to use a Staple removal tool all day long to remove tons of staples from paperwok before I scan & enter the info into a computer which triggered the Finger pain etc.
It 1st started with pain in my Ring finger closest to my pinky on my Right hand. After my hand started swelling and having constant pain, I couldn't understand what was happening so I went to see my reg internal medicicine Dr. who did some tests and determined I may have Carpal Tunnel. She gave me meds and put me in a Carpal Tunnel brace which I have worn ever since seeing her. This was almost 3-4 months ago.I have not been back to see her. I have now lost almost all use of my Right Hand and I am Right Handed.The pain is so bad that I can't even make a fist because of the swelling and can't lift or grab anything or even hold a pen to sign my name. My elbow has also started hurting too. I have not filed W Comp because of being afraid of getting fired.I have told HR at my job and my boss that I may be filing W Comp. I spoke to a W Comp attorney Friday who told me I definately need to file a W Comp claim because the type of work I do is called Repetitive Motion Syndrome. Im just afraid and don't know what to expect. Im planning on filing W Comp on Monday.I haven't stopped working and have been working and dealing with the pain while wearing a brace. Any advice is most appreciated.Im soooo Sorry this is so long. I hope someone can help me.Thanks for reading this.


RE: Carpal Tunnel/Repetitive Stress Syndrome in TN-Workers Comp Issue - 1171 - 01-03-2009 11:28 PM

Read about your rights
http://www.state.tn.us/labor-wfd/wcomp.html


RE: Carpal Tunnel/Repetitive Stress Syndrome in TN-Workers Comp Issue - AQA - 01-04-2009 01:05 AM

I just have one question. Do you plan on living with the pain for the rest of your life???? O'K, I have another question. Is the job more important than your health and well being?????


RE: Carpal Tunnel/Repetitive Stress Syndrome in TN-Workers Comp Issue - sparkey - 01-04-2009 08:00 AM

You should file IMMEDIATLY. You have already mentioned this to your employer that you are in pain with your hand. You need to go to work Monday and if still in pain go RIGHT to HR and fill out a wc form. Document what type of work you have been doing etc. They will then send you to THEIR doctor to get xrays, and so on. You have the brace and from what you have said it is only getting worse.

You will probably be offered PT/ OT and if you need to take time out to REST your hand you will be paid after so much time out. This type of injury is not going to go right away. TRUST ME. I am in the same boat 2 yrs. now. Your work will find light duty for you while being treated. You cannot refuse the light duty if offered.

My injury is recurring carpal of my right hand also. It is very difficult to do ANYTHING when right handed and trying to rest it. They may put you on steroids, anti inflammatory, pain meds., cortizone shots to try to release the swelling around the median nerve. You will be given a EMG test and if you have a good ortho surgeon and all treatments are exhausted you could possibley have surgery.

So you will see time out of work due to having surgery on that hand. I will tell you now, the longer you wait, the more nerve damage you will do. I wore that brace again for 7 months and ended up with a frozen shoulder trying to protect my hand. Here it is 2 yrs. later, new line of work and I did receive a 10% PIR rating for my injury. Now I have neuropathy, and been diagnosed with RSD. It is a very painful injury and now I go to a pain clinic for meds. / treatments just to be able to do my new line of work. This is nothing to play around with and you will have no trouble as this IS a work related incident. Take my word and get the medical treatment you need NOW. There is no need for a lawyer at this point. But if needed somewhere down the road, do not hesitate to look into one.


RE: Carpal Tunnel/Repetitive Stress Syndrome in TN-Workers Comp Issue - Tizz - 01-04-2009 12:46 PM

sparkey Wrote:You should file IMMEDIATLY. You have already mentioned this to your employer that you are in pain with your hand. You need to go to work Monday and if still in pain go RIGHT to HR and fill out a wc form. Document what type of work you have been doing etc. They will then send you to THEIR doctor to get xrays, and so on. You have the brace and from what you have said it is only getting worse.

You will probably be offered PT/ OT and if you need to take time out to REST your hand you will be paid after so much time out. This type of injury is not going to go right away. TRUST ME. I am in the same boat 2 yrs. now. Your work will find light duty for you while being treated. You cannot refuse the light duty if offered.

My injury is recurring carpal of my right hand also. It is very difficult to do ANYTHING when right handed and trying to rest it. They may put you on steroids, anti inflammatory, pain meds., cortizone shots to try to release the swelling around the median nerve. You will be given a EMG test and if you have a good ortho surgeon and all treatments are exhausted you could possibley have surgery.

So you will see time out of work due to having surgery on that hand. I will tell you now, the longer you wait, the more nerve damage you will do. I wore that brace again for 7 months and ended up with a frozen shoulder trying to protect my hand. Here it is 2 yrs. later, new line of work and I did receive a 10% PIR rating for my injury. Now I have neuropathy, and been diagnosed with RSD. It is a very painful injury and now I go to a pain clinic for meds. / treatments just to be able to do my new line of work. This is nothing to play around with and you will have no trouble as this IS a work related incident. Take my word and get the medical treatment you need NOW. There is no need for a lawyer at this point. But if needed somewhere down the road, do not hesitate to look into one.


Thank you for reading this!!!
See when the pain 1st began I went to my reg Dr. and then I went back to work with a Brace and as my Pain started getting worse I told HR that my job was causing this problem.HR then told me,"You didn't report anything about the pain or problem" and I told her that at that time I wasn't in serious pain or discomfort so I continued working that way with the brace.Last week I told HR and my Boss that I was not sure what my rights were for filing WComp and I was worried about getting fired for filing and then they (HR & Boss) both told me I can't be fired for filing. So I called a WComp Attorney just to see what I needed to do. So is there a Statue of limitation's for filing WComp if injured on the job?? Thats were Im concerned even though the Attorney said because its Repetitive Motion Syndrome that it doesn't matter. I don't have anymore vacation time left to use but I haven't missed any work due to this injury because I have been working with the pain and wearing the brace.
I realize my health is most important but I also need my job especially in the times now. Were I work its a 1-Owner company which has about 100 or so employees and he Fires people like changing underwear literally for whatever reason he deems fit. This is why im so worried if I file and miss time from work and he has to pay for all this that eventually they will come up with a reason to let me go. Do you know if while on WComp you can use FMLA for your time off of work? Im really upset over all this.Thanks


RE: Carpal Tunnel/Repetitive Stress Syndrome in TN-Workers Comp Issue - Bummer Knees - 01-04-2009 02:06 PM

I have a carpal tunnel injury to my wrist & elbow. My primary care physician also an osteopath tells me if I do not have surgery soon I will lose use of my dominant hand.

Please do not let this happen to you!

I was injured on Nov 14th and it was almost a month later before my employer completed an accident report.

My claim was still accepted because I had notified my employer in writing and by phone of my injury the day after I was injured.

My supervisor did not follow the HR procedure manual in reporting my injury and was disciplined for her action.


RE: Carpal Tunnel/Repetitive Stress Syndrome in TN-Workers Comp Issue - jayne - 01-04-2009 03:19 PM

he may find an excuse to fire you alot of employers do but he cant while you are on TTD or light duty.(unless claim is settled.)..once released to full duty he might.But can you live the rest of your life in the pain you are now in?can you continue to do your job?these are questions you must answer and live with....many of us lost our jobs,homes and yes families over a WC accident.... it is stressful...we will be here to help all we can


RE: Carpal Tunnel/Repetitive Stress Syndrome in TN-Workers Comp Issue - Tizz - 01-04-2009 03:56 PM

jayne Wrote:he may find an excuse to fire you alot of employers do but he cant while you are on TTD or light duty.(unless claim is settled.)..once released to full duty he might.But can you live the rest of your life in the pain you are now in?can you continue to do your job?these are questions you must answer and live with....many of us lost our jobs,homes and yes families over a WC accident.... it is stressful...we will be here to help all we can



You all are most helpful and understanding!! I just don't want to risk losing everything I have worked so hard to finally get such as my 1st home etc nor do I want to put all the burden on my hubby!! Its been at least 3-4months that I have been wearing a brace my own Internal Medicine Dr put me in.I have not been back to see her again for this problem,Shortly after I did see her I started getting letters from someplace asking me if this was a work related injury etc and I have not replied nor have I sent in that paperwork. I did mention it to the HR person at my job about the letters.

What is TTD?? Some days the pain isn't that bad and other days its terrible and I still go to work and keep doing the same jb with NO limitation's.Other people were I work also use the staple removal tool and don't have any problems so im not sure why its just me. Im only 41. WHat happens if i go to there WComp Doctor and they say its Arthritis or something? Am I then stuck with paying that bill?? I just don't have a clue when it comes to this stuff or how to even go about telling HR that I want to file WComp. What do I tell them tomorrow and what is the next step??
Thanks


RE: Carpal Tunnel/Repetitive Stress Syndrome in TN-Workers Comp Issue - jayne - 01-04-2009 04:08 PM

the next step is to go back to your Doctor if he/she says this is work related then you file with your employer and they will tell you where to go from there....if you are getting your doc paid and meds paid you dont need a lawyer if your doc puts you off work and you get your checks on time you dont need a lawyer....but if these things are not being taken care of then you need a lawyer,I got one because I couldnt get the ok to see a good doc I went thru my personal insurance they told me I needed a spine doc WC would not give the OK so I got a (Jayne's lame attempt to bypass the Bad Word Filter) chewing lawyer and the ball started to roll...As Sparky can tell you that carpal tunnel can turn to something much worse so be careful.TTD is temparay total disabilty.... when your doc takes you off work and you stay home


RE: Carpal Tunnel/Repetitive Stress Syndrome in TN-Workers Comp Issue - Tizz - 01-04-2009 04:21 PM

jayne Wrote:the next step is to go back to your Doctor if he/she says this is work related then you file with your employer and they will tell you where to go from there....if you are getting your doc paid and meds paid you dont need a lawyer if your doc puts you off work and you get your checks on time you dont need a lawyer....but if these things are not being taken care of then you need a lawyer,I got one because I couldnt get the ok to see a good doc I went thru my personal insurance they told me I needed a spine doc WC would not give the OK so I got a (Jayne's lame attempt to bypass the Bad Word Filter) chewing lawyer and the ball started to roll...As Sparky can tell you that carpal tunnel can turn to something much worse so be careful.TTD is temparay total disabilty.... when your doc takes you off work and you stay home



Ok Im a bit confused by what you said.... You are saying that I need to go back to my own Reg Dr. that I saw about this problem?? I know if I go back to see her she will send me to a Nuerologist(Spelled wrong) because thats what she told me after I went to her about this. I was told that your own personal Dr can't tell you if its work related because that against there code of ethics etc.Our Insurance agent at work whom I talked to after being put in the brace told me I should just have surgery and use my own work insurance and foot the bill rather then trying to file a WComp because then my deductable would be covered for all of 2009 and I would be reimbursed $1,000.00 of it because thats what the owner of my company does once the deductable hs been met. I don't think thats right. Im not out to screw anyone,I just think if my job caused this then it should be taken care of.
No one ever told me if you can take FMLA while being on WComp or is that totally diferent?? Also,if on WComp and off work are we still covered under our work insurance that we pay for?? Im really getting discouraged by all this.