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Carpal Tunnel/Repetitive Stress Syndrome in TN-Workers Comp Issue
#11
You have been miss informed. Any dr. can give an oppinion as to whether or not an injury is work related. The issue is, Does your dr. do workers compensation claims??

Another issue, if you use your health insurance and have the surgery, how long will you be out of work???? If there are complications from the surgery, how much longer will you be out of work??????

Any company would much rather have an employee use thier health insurance instead of filing a WC claim. No one can tell you what to do. It is up to you. Not all injuries are permanent and most can be fixed, but everyone needs to protect themselves.

Take Care
8-05, Micro laminectomy/disectomy. 10-05 lumbar fusion L5-S1. 2-07 exploritory surgery. 12-07 medical implant, Spinal Cord Stimulator. now receiving SSDI. After going back to school, I received my degree as a mechanical engineer. What can I say, it was the only way I had to beat the system. 
 
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#12
FMLA will protect your job for 12 weeks.
WC pays 66 2/3% of your average weekly wage from the last 52 weeks. There are no deductions or taxes taken out. I have been on TTD since Aug 2008 and I send my employer a check every month to pay for health insurance. If you are out of work for more than 14 days, WC goes back and pays from day one.
 
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#13
The majority of WC cases go smoothly, but occassionally complications arise, the injury is more complicated than originally diagnosed and you end up off work longer than expected.

When I went to my regular doc first, then filed WC, my employer sent me to their WC doc. The reports from my first doc were used. I ended up having the carpal tunnel surgery and was sent back to work 6 weeks post surgery. That would have been the end of it, and simple case closed, but I unknowingly developed RSD, a chronic pain symdrome, had a mental breakdown 10 months after returning to work due to working with the chronic pain and by then, the hostile work environment my supervisor had created trying to get me to quit. I was off 16 months, during which time I also had neck surgery which was part of the original injury. It hasn't stopped yet. I ruptured a tendon and had to have surgery and was off work another 2 weeks.

I had a good employer, who "eliminated" my position once I was released to return to work. I am working a job now that is just a job; not a career and am very depressed about my life altering injury. A couple of weeks ago, my spine surgeon released me P&S, and 3 days later, an interventonal spine specialist dx'd me with "severe cervical radiculopathy" and ordered an MRI. I am waiting for that date, and to find out what's next. It feels like I'm back to square one; a never ending maze.

All along, while being returned to work, I take off frequently at go to medical appts., physical therapy, psycho therapy, etc., and I know my employer is getting pissed at the amount of time I have to take off due to my injuries; and also my own health care which I've put aside for the past couple of years. I can't help it.

My reason for posting this is to give you an example of things gone bad. You need to file that WC claim for your own protection.

When things go bad, instead of getting encouragement, good employers turn on you, nice Claims Adjusters turn mean, doctors get mad because you aren't getting better and everything treats you like your faking. You have to advocate for yourself, even if you do have an attorney. A WC attorney only becomes actively involved before you sign with the firm, and when your case nears closing.

I wish you the best, and will pray that your CTS is uncomplicated and your RTW is uneventful and that your case closes without a hitch. Tongue
Let Go, and Let God......
 
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#14
chrischris Wrote:The majority of WC cases go smoothly, but occassionally complications arise, the injury is more complicated than originally diagnosed and you end up off work longer than expected.

When I went to my regular doc first, then filed WC, my employer sent me to their WC doc. The reports from my first doc were used. I ended up having the carpal tunnel surgery and was sent back to work 6 weeks post surgery. That would have been the end of it, and simple case closed, but I unknowingly developed RSD, a chronic pain symdrome, had a mental breakdown 10 months after returning to work due to working with the chronic pain and by then, the hostile work environment my supervisor had created trying to get me to quit. I was off 16 months, during which time I also had neck surgery which was part of the original injury. It hasn't stopped yet. I ruptured a tendon and had to have surgery and was off work another 2 weeks.

I had a good employer, who "eliminated" my position once I was released to return to work. I am working a job now that is just a job; not a career and am very depressed about my life altering injury. A couple of weeks ago, my spine surgeon released me P&S, and 3 days later, an interventonal spine specialist dx'd me with "severe cervical radiculopathy" and ordered an MRI. I am waiting for that date, and to find out what's next. It feels like I'm back to square one; a never ending maze.

All along, while being returned to work, I take off frequently at go to medical appts., physical therapy, psycho therapy, etc., and I know my employer is getting pissed at the amount of time I have to take off due to my injuries; and also my own health care which I've put aside for the past couple of years. I can't help it.

My reason for posting this is to give you an example of things gone bad. You need to file that WC claim for your own protection.

When things go bad, instead of getting encouragement, good employers turn on you, nice Claims Adjusters turn mean, doctors get mad because you aren't getting better and everything treats you like your faking. You have to advocate for yourself, even if you do have an attorney. A WC attorney only becomes actively involved before you sign with the firm, and when your case nears closing.

I wish you the best, and will pray that your CTS is uncomplicated and your RTW is uneventful and that your case closes without a hitch. Tongue


Thank you for your post and Im so sorry for all that you are going through!! I wish you a speedy recovery!!! Ive seen alot of people post "RSD" what is that exactly as ive never heard of it??

I agree that ones health is most important,Along with this new problem that started in Aug 2008(Carpal Tunnel)I have other health issues that I have to face in Feb that are unrelated to work and is something that can be life threatening. Im guesing that 2009 is not looking very positive.

Im going to decide by Tuesday whether or not im going to file workers comp even though I feel in my heart that its the right thing to do,Im just scared about all this and thats what is delaying it. I had posted on another WComp board and never got any advice or anything so I am happy that people here care enough to post a reply.
Thank you
~Tizz~
 
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#15
As far as using FMLA for time off, it sounds as if the company size qualifies you for it, however, you state that you didn't start work there until Feb. 2008. One must be employed for a full year at a job or have 1250 hours in at work in order to qualify for FMLA. Under FMLA, your job is protected, but if you use it without workers compensation, unless the company has a short term disability plan, you will not get paid unless you have a lot of sick and vacation time. Using it in conjunction with worker's compensation, you will receive a percentage of your pay while on FMLA.

Once you return to work after being out on FMLA your employer can discharge you for any reason, especially if you are in a work at will state and he has information that will back up his firing. If you go back to work with restrictions placed on you by your Dr, your employer can claim he has no light duty work for you and release you at that time. In most states, at that time, you can put in for unemployment, as long as you are able to work for work and can accept a job if offered. However, you need to let your new employer know about your restrictions and work strictly under any and all that you are given.

Your hand is nothing to mess around with. I have been fighting a denied claim on my dominant right arm/hand since February 23rd of 2008. I am being paid short term disability through my employer at this time. On Feb. 23,2009 I will be placed on long term and can apply for SSDI. If at any time my claim is accepted by WC, then then they will have to give the disability company all of my back pay that I would have been entitled to..other than my travel pay..and that is over a grand right now. But as I was saying..don't play around with your dominant hand. I loose more and more use of my hand/arm and am typing this left handed.

Like Chris Chris, I also have RSD, but it developed after surgery in my right ankle and has moved clear up my right leg, into my left leg and just before Thanksgiving, my pain management Dr gave me the wonderful news that it is now in my right arm do to lack of treatment for my injury. RSD stand for Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy and basically there is no known cure for it..most of us are on high dose opiates to control the pain. I am taking 100 mg of morphine a day with 10/750 doses every 4 hours of hydrocodone for breakthrough pain and 90 mgs of cymbalta for pain and depression as well as 75 mgs of zonegran for the pain and to help me loose the weight that I gained while taking another medication. Google RSD.. you'd be amazed at the amount of info that is out there on it..but Dr's don't want to admit that it is real. They would rather try to make us think that the pain we are feeling is all in our minds. It really isn't a pleasant thing to have..and I for one wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy.

Hope that this helps some

Angel ^j^
I've always been crazy, but it keeps me from going insane.
************
Happiness comes through doors you didn't even know you left open
 
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#16
Ok as of today I have worked almost 2,000 hours and thats not including a few paid holiday's that I left out!I added up all my hous on my paystubs. So I guess with that being said,I would qualify for FMLA,Right??

I live and work in Middle TN which is a "Right To Work State" which actually sucks if you ask me. At any rate when can I use FMLA? Would it be combined with WComp or seperate time off. Like I said in my other posts,I have not missed any time from work because of this injury but as it gets worse I need to be seen by a Dr again.I was debating about going back to my own Dr. this week before filing the WComp but wasn't sure if that was a good idea or not.I don't want to keep waiting because the longer I wait the less I want to even stir up any fires at work.

This is just soooo damn frustrating!!! Once I report this and file with my job,how long does it take to be able to be seen by a Dr they choose or do I choose 1?? And since I haven't lost any work time because of this problem,Will that make a difference when filing? I can still do my job but the part that I need to stop doing is using that damn Staple removal tool because its causing this in the 1st place. So do I need to wait to file and go back to my own Dr. or go ahead and file and wait to see 1 of there Dr's??? I am so confused and worried by all this. Thanks again.
~Tizz~
 
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#17
Tizz,

One example of fileing is when I went to work one morning on Jan.29th,07 to draw blood, I dropped a needle right after I took it out of a sterile package. The patient was sitting in the chair. My wrist i had put a heat pack on to ride to work that morning cause the wrist was so swollen. When the needle dropped, my co-worker who was standing by my saw me drop it and start to cry. The pain was terrible and I loved my job and gave it my all. Right then I was forced to sign a WC report.

They immediatly sent me to their doctor across the hall for xrays and then the doctor put a thumb brace on me and said I had thumb arthritis and go back to work light duty ( 0ne handed ) I am right handed and dominant on that one. So I pretty much sat there all day in pain till time to go home.

The following day I went to a neurologist to which YOU will need to see for a EMG. To study your wrist to see how bad the carpal tunnel is. Or if it is tendonitis. They will try different meds., treatments, braces, cortizones shots, PT/ OT and if they exhaust all those it could lead to surgery. Some people just need to rest the hand and it gets well. Others need the surgery. I had the surgery 10 yrs. ago and I was stamping at my work everyday, all day. That is when mine acted up again. So I had Re-curring carpal tunnel. The first surgery was at another job and I did not claim it as wc. I felt it was due to my computer use at home.

By wearing the wrong brace ( should be a special made brace from PT) to which you should request. It is fit to your hand/wrist. Shrinkwrapped type. It is much more comfortable and may help you better. Only use it alittle at a time. Do not keep it on all day as then you will forget how to use your hand and will freeze up on you. This happened to me. The longer you wait, then it could effect your shoulder, feel sharp pains in your elbow and drop things more and more. It could cause worse nerve damage waiting.

You need to report this to work ASAP. Go to work, try working, and if it hurts stop what your doing and go down to HR and Fill out the form. You should have someone from their IC call you ( adjuster) to ask what happened. They may send you to their doctor immediatley. If there is carpal the EMG will show how severe. They are not all reliable, but it is something to get an idea.

Your injury IS work related and they know it. It is repetition. They are entitled to pay for your surgery if needed. Why should you pay for it with your insurance and try to find a way to get an income to live? This surgery could be 6-8 weeks out. And especially if you use your hands all day. There is deductibles that you would pay with your own insurance. Hopefully this could be a easy fix, but if you wait, you could end up like me and the rest with RSD, or severe neuropathy. Relying on meds. to live a productive life which is no fun.

If you act now, you could have the surgery done, and be back to your work. If not, it could get so severe that you will need a new line of work. Keep us informed and stop thinking and get moving on this. It is your health and future at stake. Good luck : )
carpal tunnel recurrence/ neuropathy / RSD.
1/29/07 injury date. Permanent. PIR settlement 8/4/08 10%
 
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#18
Under,

I just did a search on that drug Zonegran to see if it is a weight loss drug. I go to my doctors this morning and have gained about 40 lbs or more since being injured. I did not see anything about weight loss but saw it is for seisures. Could you give me a little more info on this medication as I cannot find much more than the seisure info.

Thanks,
Sparkey : )

I will mention it to my doctor this morning as the appointment is at 8am. I too have RSD in my dominant hand and not finding any relief. The only thing that ever worked for me was methadone and I ended up with a rash from that. I really wish I could try it again to see if I would be okay using it or if the rash will happen again.

You mentioned Morphine. How is that helping with Pain? I am on oxycontin 40 mg 2 x's a day and percs 3-4 times a day for break through pain. I am right now finding nothing is helping me and after the death of my cousin last week on Oxycontin I want to get off and QUICK. It just scares me to death now.
carpal tunnel recurrence/ neuropathy / RSD.
1/29/07 injury date. Permanent. PIR settlement 8/4/08 10%
 
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#19
I also am curious as to whether or not workers comp and FMLA can be used at the same time. My employer has not mentioned anything about that I could use FMLA but now I am recieving TTD finally after fighting them to get the claim accepted. It has taken 7 months. I didn't get on short term disability(something else they didn't volunteer info on) after being sent home by treating dr. until 2 months later when I went in to work to ask about getting the paperwork while the HR manager was gone for the day. My employer does nothing as far as communicating with me. I am clueless about what I can and can't do. Sorry to impose on your post Tizz...just looking for some answers also.
Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans.
 
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#20
[quote=nauticalgurl1]
I also am curious as to whether or not workers comp and FMLA can be used at the same time. My employer has not mentioned anything about that I could use FMLA but now I am recieving TTD finally after fighting them to get the claim accepted. It has taken 7 months. I didn't get on short term disability(something else they didn't volunteer info on) after being sent home by treating dr. until 2 months later when I went in to work to ask about getting the paperwork while the HR manager was gone for the day. My employer does nothing as far as communicating with me. I am clueless about what I can and can't do. Sorry to impose on your post Tizz...just looking for some answers also.
[/quote/]

We are in TN, same as Tizz, and in our case two days after my husband was put out of work by the Dr., a certified letter arrived with FMLA and STD papers to be filled out by the Dr. FMLA can run with
WC or STD. He didn't get STD because his WC claim was approved. His 12 weeks of FMLA were up in November and he is still receiving TTD and is still employed. (A friend of ours was terminated as soon as her FMLA was over)We think he'll be terminated at settlement time because he can't do his previous job and they don't have any light duty for him.
 
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