Work injuries can seriously impact every aspect of your daily life and even leave you unemployed. If you’ve suffered an injury while working for your Georgia employer, you may require special medical procedures like a carpal tunnel release surgery to make a full recovery and return to work. Before deciding if a carpal tunnel release is the best option for you, you should know the important details about the procedure, what the potential benefits and risks are, and how a carpal tunnel release can impact your overall recovery.
Workplace injuries can happen suddenly during a fall or accident, or slowly over time. Regardless of how your injury started, you’ll need to connect the dots between your employment history and your injury to build a strong case. This is essential to make sure that your Georgia employer offers you the benefits that you deserve for your injury and related lost wages.
Navigating the workers’ compensation process can be complicated with many roadblocks along the way, but one of our Georgia workers’ compensation lawyers at Gearhart Law Group can assist you in overcoming these challenges to get you the representation that you need.
What Is A Carpal Tunnel Release?
Carpal tunnel release surgery is a procedure used to relieve pressure on the median nerve in your wrist, which provides sensory and motor function to your hand. During the procedure, an orthopedic surgeon will cut through or “release” the flexor retinaculum, which is a ligament that covers the carpal tunnel. This relieves pressure on the median nerve, reducing symptoms of pain, numbness, and tingling in the hand.
The entire procedure is fairly quick and usually takes less than an hour to perform. After the surgery, you may be required to wear a splint or brace for several weeks to provide support, optimize healing, and protect your wrist from injury.
The recovery timeline for carpal tunnel release varies between individuals and depends on the underlying cause of your injury, your overall health, and your lifestyle after surgery. Generally a full recovery can take a few months, but with proper care and favorable outcomes, you may be able to return to your pre-injury activities or work sooner.
The main benefits of carpal tunnel release include improved wrist and hand strength, decreased pain and numbness, and improved mobility in the wrist and hand. If your injury was caused by work-related activity or repetitive motion, such as working with construction tools or chronic computer use, this procedure can be especially helpful in helping you recover and return to work.
What Is Carpal Tunnel Release Used For?
Carpal tunnel release surgery is typically used to treat the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS), which is a condition that occurs when the median nerve in your wrist becomes chronically compressed, leading to pain and numbness in your hand. This condition can be caused by repetitive wrist motions or activities such as typing on a computer, working with tools or machinery, or constantly lifting heavy objects.
Although there are many treatments available for managing carpal tunnel syndrome, a carpal tunnel release is considered the gold standard of treatment with long-term results. However, this type of procedure is typically only recommended when more conservative options such as splinting, exercise, and medications have been unsuccessful.
By having a carpal tunnel release, you can reduce the pressure on your median nerve and help alleviate pain, numbness, and weakness in your hand. As symptoms in your hand related to the median nerve resolve, you can slowly return to normal activities and previous work duties.
Is Carpal Tunnel Release Safe?
Generally speaking, carpal tunnel release surgery is considered to be a relatively safe procedure. The procedure itself has a low incidence of complications and is usually successful in relieving the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome. As with any surgical procedure, there are risks associated with carpal tunnel release such as infection, scarring, or nerve damage. Your doctor will discuss these risks with you prior to the procedure. Additionally, your doctor may recommend that you take some steps to prepare for surgery such as weight loss or quitting smoking to improve your outcomes.
The most common side effects after a carpal tunnel release include temporary discomfort, soreness, and swelling at the incision site. Your hand may also feel weak or numb for some time afterward due to nerve inflammation, which is considered normal. Some other potential side effects include stiffness and limited range of motion in the wrist and hand, although this is expected to improve with time. Be sure to follow your doctor’s post-operative instructions closely in order to minimize the risk of complications and optimize your recovery.
Overall, carpal tunnel release is an effective method to reduce or eliminate the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome and improve your quality of life, often for the long term.
Will I Need Other Treatments?
In addition to carpal tunnel release surgery, your doctor may recommend other treatments and therapies to help you recover. These could include physical therapy, splinting or bracing, anti-inflammatory medications, acupuncture, or massage. Your doctor will create a personalized treatment plan that is tailored specifically to your needs in order to maximize the effectiveness of your recovery.
Additionally, occupational therapy may be recommended if you need assistance with returning to your job duties after surgery. Your occupational therapist will help you modify tasks, create an ergonomic workspace, and build strategies to optimize your work capacity in order to reduce stress on your wrist and decrease the risk of re-injury.
It is also important to address any underlying conditions that may contribute to symptoms of numbness or pain in your hands, such as diabetes or arthritis. Throughout your recovery, lifestyle modifications such as ergonomics adjustments, taking frequent breaks at work, and switching to activities that are less stressful on your wrist can help reduce strain and improve healing.
The bottom line is that carpal tunnel release surgery can be a very successful treatment option for relieving the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome, but should be combined with other treatments and therapies for optimal recovery. It’s important to work closely with your doctor to create a comprehensive treatment plan that fits your unique needs.
For injured workers living in Georgia, a carpal tunnel release is often covered by worker’s compensation. To make sure that your treatments are covered by your employer, you should have expert legal representation.
Contact an Atlanta Injury Attorney
Our Georgia workers’ compensation lawyers at Gearhart Law Group represent victims of work-related injuries and help them get the workers’ compensation benefits that they deserve. Our lawyers understand how your employer and their workers’ compensation insurance companies will try to save money by denying or underpaying your claim. We know how to fight any objections they may have and pursue all the Georgia workers’ compensation benefits that you need. Call us now so we can evaluate your specific case and advise you of your next legal steps as well as ensuring that you are receiving the best medical care for your injuries.