Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Do Law Enforcement Officers Get Carpal Tunnel?
Police officers are known to have hypertension, heart disease, PTSD, back injuries, and knee injuries. Of course, as with almost every job, a police officer can be in the unfortunate situation of having an unlimited number of workers’ compensation injuries. Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is not as common in police officers as the injuries listed above. Unlike a cashier or data entry person, carpal tunnel isn’t “almost expected” as a police officer. Carpal tunnel is hyper-common among chefs, line cooks, those who cut or slice for a living, butchers, other food workers, and administrative positions. However, that doesn’t mean carpal tunnel doesn’t happen to law enforcement officers. It can and does happen and the job can absolutely be a substantial contributing factor.
More About Carpal Tunnel
Carpal tunnel is a malady where the nerves and tendons that flex the fingers and hand are compressed. Typically, the condition worsens over time, but onset can, in some instances, be quickly. Numerous factors can cause CTS.
Treatment of carpal tunnel involves physical therapy, immobilization with a brace, anti-inflammatories, and often, surgery. Going under the knife is a last option but, unfortunately, a fairly common one with carpal tunnel.
Carpal Tunnel and Workers’ Comp
Was the work a substantial contributing factor in the development of the condition? That’s the question Maryland workers’ comp will ask about any occupational disease, including carpal tunnel. It is on the injured worker to prove that the condition is related to work. This involves a doctor saying that the condition was related to the work.
In the vast majority of cases, the insurance company will send the injured worker to be evaluated by a doctor.
Insurance Companies Never Want to Pay
In my experience, these “independent exams” almost never support a causal connection between the CTS and work activities. The insurance company will argue that other factors, such as age, weight, arthritis, prior trauma, etc. are to blame for the condition. That is why it is essential for you, the injured worker, to be treated and assessed by a specialist who can properly diagnose your condition, and offer an unbiased opinion as to what caused the problem in the first place.
If you are feeling any of the early symptoms of CTS, call me to help evaluate your situation. It is vital that you get a correct diagnosis and early treatment, before things progress to the point of interfering with your job functions or requiring surgery. I have worked with many hand specialists during my career on these specific kinds of claims, and would be happy to consult with you about any questions or concerns about this disorder.
Not Just Law Enforcement
We handle carpal tunnel cases for all kinds of injured workers – not just police.