Think of activities that you do at work or at home. Chances are, you need your hands to do them. From typing and reading to eating, drinking, and driving, it’s obvious that we rely on our hands for almost everything. Unfortunately, our heavy reliance on our hands makes them vulnerable to injury.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, upper extremity injuries are among the most common work-related injuries. Data tabulated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics from 1992 to 2018 shows over 4 million upper extremity injuries in employees working for major industries, with upper extremity injuries second only to trunk injuries. In the last decade, cumulative trauma disorders due to overuse, repetitive strain, or trauma usually underlie the most common work-related injuries to the upper extremities.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition that occurs as a result of pressure on the median nerve, which is a nerve that passes through the carpal tunnel in the wrist. It is often caused by repetitive hand motions such as typing. Working on a computer or working a cash register can lead to carpal tunnel syndrome. Symptoms include pain, tingling, and weakness in the hand and arm. Without proper treatment, carpal tunnel syndrome can cause permanent damage to the nerves and muscles in the hand and wrist.
Cubital Tunnel Syndrome
Work that involves a lot of pulling, reaching and lifting may cause cubital tunnel syndrome. It is a result of the ulnar nerve, which passes through a tunnel in the elbow becoming inflamed or irritated due to the repetitive motions. Symptoms include hand pain, a pain in the elbow, numbness, tingling when the elbow is bent, and a weak grip. Cubital tunnel syndrome can easily be confused with golfer’s elbow. It’s best to seek the care of a medical professional for an accurate diagnosis and proper treatment.
Trigger finger or stenosing tenosynovitis is a condition where the thumb remains in a bent position as if it were pulling a trigger. Occupations that involve repetitive gripping motions — for example, when working with tools and machinery — are a risk factor for trigger finger. The reason for this is that the tendon sheath that protects the finger is inflamed, affecting the gliding motion of the tendon through the sheath. In severe cases, the affected finger can become stuck in a bent position.
Upper Extremity Orthopedic Surgeon in Delray Beach, Boynton Beach & Boca Raton
Hand, wrist, elbow, and shoulder injuries can lead to absenteeism and lost productivity. Not being able to do your job well can also affect your quality of life. For expert care, look no further than Dr. Steve Meadows, an orthopedic surgeon specializing in hand surgery and upper extremity care.
Dr. Meadows also specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of work-related injuries and knows the Florida workers’ compensation system. Our goal is to ensure that your condition improves as quickly as possible. We communicate quickly and seamlessly with referring physicians, employers, case managers, and adjusters. If you have questions or would like to schedule an appointment with Dr. Meadows, please call (561) 496-6622 or use our online request form.