Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a form of repetitive strain injury that causes pain and discomfort to the hands, wrists and arms. CTS often arises as a result of a working environment that hasn’t properly ensured its employees' chances of developing this condition are minimised.   If you’ve developed CTS as a result of working in such an environment, you will be able to make a compensation claim. Get in touch with the experienced team of solicitors at JMW and we will be happy to discuss your options with you over the phone, or in person.

If you suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome, you may be entitled to financial compensation; call JMW free on 0800 054 6570 or complete our online contact form and find out if you can claim today.

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Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Explained

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition that affects the hands, wrists and arms and can impact your day to day life, particularly while you're at work. It can affect workers of all ages and varies in severity.  In the worst cases, it can be extremely debilitating and inhibit a sufferer’s ability to carry out day to day tasks. 

The carpal tunnel refers to a narrow passageway on the palm side of your wrist, made up of bones and ligaments, in your wrist where the nerve enters the hand. Repetitive movements in this area cause swelling that pinches the nerve, causing discomfort.

Causes of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome is most commonly caused by repetitive and forceful movements of the hands and arms during work. Common repetitive activities known to cause CTS, include the following: 

  • Assembly line work
  • Painting
  • Operating machinery
  • Manual labour
  • Sewing
  • Playing a musical instrument

This list is not exhaustive; carpal tunnel syndrome can be caused by any movements of a repetitive nature. You may be at an increased risk if you have a family history of CTS, are pregnant or have underlying health condition such as arthritis. 

Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome vary from person to person, with the most common including:

  • Numbness
  • Pain
  • Paresthesia (pins and needles)
  • Burning
  • Tingling

These symptoms are commonly present in the thumb, index finger, middle finger and half of the ring finger and develop gradually over a period of days, weeks or months, worsening during the night.  In some cases, victims of carpal tunnel syndrome suffer from permanent numbness and atrophy of the muscles in the hands.

If you are suffering from any of the above symptoms, you should speak to a medical expert who will diagnose and treat your pain. 

Treating Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

In most cases, CTS will subside within a few months with no treatment. However, if symptoms persist, your doctor will be able to offer treatment to ease your suffering, such as:

  • Medication such as Corticosteroids (steroid treatment) - this treatment acts to reduce inflammation and can be prescribed as a tablet or an injection into the wrist. This treatment is repeated once the symptoms return and is not seen as a permanent solution.
  • Wrist splints - a wrist splint places the wrist in a neutral position, allowing you to rest it. In some cases, the splint may cause further damage do to pressure on the median nerve, so this treatment should be used with caution.

If non-surgical options fail to relieve symptoms of CTS, you doctor may suggest surgery, and would discuss the implications of the same with you, should that scenario arise.   

The surgical option is known as Carpal Tunnel release surgery. This is seen as a last resort when non surgical routes have been exhausted. This involves reducing the pressure on the median nerve by cutting the carpal ligament. This surgery may cause some level of discomfort and pain within the hand, however, this typically subsides within six to twelve weeks leaving the sufferer with a reduction or a loss of symptoms.

If you have been diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome and believe it is a direct result of your job, contact the solicitors at JMW as soon as possible to discuss making a claim.

Prognosis

For most people, surgical or non surgical treatment will permanently cure CTS. However, in some cases, treatment for CTS does not work, leaving the sufferer with permanent symptoms. Dependant on your prognosis, your doctor may recommend you no longer perform the activity that lad to you developing the condition.

For most people, surgical or non surgical treatment will permanently cure CTS. However, in some cases, treatment for CTS does not work, leaving the sufferer with permanent symptoms. Dependant on your prognosis, your doctor may recommend you no longer perform the activity that lad to you developing the condition.

Why Choose JMW?

Our team of experienced industrial disease solicitors will work hard to ensure you gain the outcome you deserve. We work in a clear and concise manner, keeping you updated every step of the way.

We have successfully settled claims for a large number of people who have been affected by carpal tunnel syndrome in the workplace, and we always strive to make the claims process as stress-free as possible.

Case Study

  1. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and HAVS. Compensation: £17,000

    JMW has successfully secured £17,000 compensation for a client following his diagnosis of hand arm vibration syndrome.

    Mr D was diagnosed with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and decided to claim against his employers for his injury.  He was put in touch with JMW, who handled his claim.

    The claim

    Mr D worked for a test drilling and boring company for 20 years. He used a range of pneumatic and vibrating equipment and prolonged use of this equipment caused him a lot of pain. Mr D began to suffer from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and he believed that his employers didn't protect him from the side effects the equipment caused.

    Gathering evidence

    We began to put together evidence to support Mr D's claim, including:

    • A witness statement from Mr D
    • A copy of Mr D's medical records
    • Mr D's full employment history from HMRC
    • Mr D's occupational health and personnel records from his employer

    Once we had this information, we sent a letter of claim to Mr D's employer, who passed it to their insurer. We also got a report from a consultant engineer that suggested using these particular power tools beyond 15 to 30 minutes a day was considered excessive exposure.

    Liability decision

    We got Mr D examined by a medical expert and a consultant vascular surgeon specialising in Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, who both found that Mr D's symptoms indicated he had Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and that a Carpal Tunnel release operation he had had eased those symptoms.

    We sent a copy of Mr D's report to the defendant's insurer. We also prepared a Schedule of Loss, taking into account all Mr D's measurable losses as a result of his injury. Mr D had to have a Carpal Tunnel release operation on his left hand, and our medical expert made an extra report.

    The defendant's insurer then admitted liability for Mr D's injuries, subject to medical evidence. We sent Mr D's extra medical report to the defendant's insurer and invited them to settle the case, as we needed to issue protective court proceedings on it. The case was passed to the defendant's solicitors.

    Further evidence

    We updated Mr D's Schedule of Loss. Meanwhile, the defendant's solicitor decided to defend the case. They disagreed with our medical reports and wanted another expert to examine Mr D.

    We got court directions on the case as we could not agree with the defendant's solicitor as to how the case should proceed. The court gave us a timetable both parties had to stick to.

    Whilst adhering to the timetable, we also decided to make a settlement offer of £17,000. The defendant's solicitors wanted to wait for their own medical evidence before responding. After further discussion with the court and the defendant's solicitor, we agreed both medical experts would provide a joint report in the run up to the trial, as well as the defendant's medical expert's own report.

    Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome

    The defendant's medical expert didn't believe that Mr D's Carpal Tunnel Syndrome was the result of his workplace, but he did believe Mr D was suffering from elements of Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome. We believed there was enough evidence to make a claim for Mr D's Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome and updated his claim.

    We also confirmed a trial date with the court. We also put together all our evidence for the trial, including an updated Schedule of Loss and the joint medical report.

    Final settlement

    We finally received a settlement offer from the defendant's solicitor a day before the trial. They agreed to settle the case for the original £17,000 we had offered more than a year earlier. Mr D was delighted with the settlement and relieved to have his case closed. 

Talk to Us

To find out more about making a carpal tunnel syndrome claim, or to speak to a friendly, approachable solicitor about the compensation process, call 0800 054 6570 or complete our online contact form and we will get back to you as soon as possible.



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