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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    15

    Default Flexor Tendon Injury

    I was injured October 14th , 2010 and have been through 2 surgeries and nearing 30 PT appointments. My range of motion is getting better but now I have a (?) flexion contracture and they are now discussing possibly putting a digit widget on my finger to straighten out. I am now experiencing some pains in my shoulder and back that seem to be nerve pains or possible worse. The injury occured when my hand got crushed between a machine and piece of steel and I had no choice but to jerk and yank my finger out of the tight spot it was in. I hired a lawyer in December who took my case on but really didnt discuss any figures with me. Im completely new to all of this and was just wondering if anyone here could give me any ballpark figures I could expect to see for a settlement?

    My claims adjuster told me that I would be guaranteed a settlement considering the severity of my injury but that it would be down the road.

    Im now worried about the pains im having in my shoulder and back. Could it be nerve pain? Ive told my PT but she isnt sure , saying that its possibly from pulling my hand out when it was trapped and maybe pulled some muscles. Im sure its not just a pulleed muscle , because like i said , I was injured in October and have just in the last month started experiencing these pains..

    Thanks to all in advance for any help you might give me! Thank you so much!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: Flexor Tendon Injury

    To go a little further into what my injury was..

    I lacerated both tendons in my right ring finger , and only one was repaired. Im not sure of the medical term , but they only repaired the tendon that runs all the way to the tip of the finger. It crushed the ring , middle and pinky finger during the accident and Im still having problems with the pinky finger as well. The middle finger seems to be doing just fine. There was a bone chip and small fracture in the right ring finger(same finger as tendon laceration). Im still doing physical therapy 3 times a week and going to the doctor when they schedule me.

    Work comp accepted only the Ring finger tendon laceration and the other two as abrasions even though there were stitches in my pinky and both fingers were crushed as well. My lawyer later got them to accept the right injuries.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Calif
    Posts
    18,018

    Default Re: Flexor Tendon Injury

    I hired a lawyer in December who took my case on but really didnt discuss any figures with me. Im completely new to all of this and was just wondering if anyone here could give me any ballpark figures I could expect to see for a settlement?
    There is no way to project any benefits you may receive for permenant disability indemnity. And yes...it would be benefits, not a cash payment. Once you are stable/MMI has been reached, you'd be rated, and the number of weeks benefits due would be paid.
    My claims adjuster told me that I would be guaranteed a settlement considering the severity of my injury but that it would be down the road
    True...but again...based on the % of impairment due to the injury.
    Im now worried about the pains im having in my shoulder and back. Could it be nerve pain? Ive told my PT but she isnt sure , saying that its possibly from pulling my hand out when it was trapped and maybe pulled some muscles. Im sure its not just a pulleed muscle , because like i said , I was injured in October and have just in the last month started experiencing these pains..
    Doctors diagnose, after tests if necessary...Xray, MRI etc. PT doesn't.
    Talk to your Dr about your symptoms/concerns.

    Ratings are complex issues.
    The rates for PPD/Permenant Partial Disability are here http://www.cbs.state.or.us/imd/rasums/1145/10_1145.pdf
    Other WC topics are here http://www.oregon.gov/DCBS/wc_subject_index.shtml

    PPD is determined/paid based on your condition post recovery. Not the type of injury, or amount of treatment provided.
    You are guaranteed benefits, medical and indemnity, you are not guaranteed a cash settlement to close the claim. That is negotiated by the parties, and IW's take less than the claim may be worth.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: Flexor Tendon Injury

    Thanks alot! Im not so much worrried about a "cash reward" as I am making sure that I dont get screwed over in the long run. Work comp has been pretty sneaky up to this point. They didnt figure my exact wage untill I realized something was wrong considering I was working 55 hours a week at time of injury and they only figured it at 40 hours a week. Then , the checks kept getting later and later. So I decided it would be best if I hired a lawyer.

    So when you say I should tell my doctor? Tell the doctor that is dealing with my finger , or should I go to a physician and then have them send me somewhere?

    Thank you for all your help!!!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Calif
    Posts
    18,018

    Default Re: Flexor Tendon Injury

    You can only have one WC Dr at a time... that's the Dr you go to.
    If necessary, you'd be referred to another specialty, by your WC DR.
    You still have to treat with a Dr in the system/comp rules.
    Im not so much worrried about a "cash reward" as I am making sure that I dont get screwed over in the long run.
    ?... You are going to be paid benefits as defined by law.
    I don't know what "screwed over in the long run" means here.
    Medical care is provided to a point you are stable. Or MMI. Then you're rated, the benefits change from TD/wage replacement to PD, indemnity benefits based on the loss of ability to compete in the open labor market, or loss of earning capacity. Depending on your recovery, the type of work you do, and other factors, your injury may not significantly affect your earning capacity. That will be a medical determination.

    Your WC Dr will have to make the connection between the org injury and your current complaints/symptoms to get the arm/shoulder/neck etc accepted in the claim so you can get treatment if necessary. That may or may not be-the easiest thing to do here.
    Talk to your Dr.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: Flexor Tendon Injury

    By screwed over , I mean not getting future benefits and not getting my shoulder or back injuries accepted IF they are serious. Like I said , I just want to make sure Im covered from every angle. I was a steel mill worker who was working 55 hours a week busting my ass and I doubt Ill ever be able to go back to that. But, im not here to bitch and gripe , Im here for help and youve gave me tons! So thank you very much! Im sure my lawyer is very good and will help me figure out the rest , I know hes very busy and cant answer every question which is why I came here.

    Thanks so much for all your help and answering my questions!

    ---------- Post added at 07:10 PM ---------- Previous post was at 07:07 PM ----------

    Im pretty sure he would be able to make a connection , because I have never been injured in my life. I havent so much as picked up a 12 pack of coke with my right hand since October 14th , 2010 , so Im sure that if it is serious , there is a connection with the injury. Nonetheless , Im very grateful that they have taken care of as much as they have thus far and if they deny any further injuries associated with this claim , I wont bitch and complain. The system has been helpful thus far(despite a few hiccups) and I appreciate what theyve done for me. Without Work comp , Im not sure where I'd be right now. It would be a helluva lot harder , thats for damn sure.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Georgia
    Posts
    1,928

    Default Re: Flexor Tendon Injury

    Awilliamson, do as BiVA has suggested and get an appointment with your current treating physician. He will determine what course to follow for your upper extremity. It could well be that when you pulled your hand out of that machine that you could have damaged your rotator cuff in your shoulder. It would seem very likely to me that is what is causing your pain. Many RTC injuries start out as a small or partial tear and just continue to get worse until you get them fixed and then sometimes even with the repair you will likely never fully recover IF it is a RTC injury causing your problems.

    You need an MRI to diagnose as a regular X-ray will only show bony structure and NOT tell you anything about the soft tissue in your shoulder/upper back/ and perhaps even your neck. I have had both of my shoulders operated on for RTC injuries and the symptoms you describe sound very familiar to me. The first time my right shoulder started with a small tear that over a period of three-four years became so severe that the surgeon told my husband that IF I had waited any longer to get it fixed that he would have NOT been able to repair it as well as he did.

    The second injury involved my left shoulder and has been an absolute nightmare for over four years. It was bad enough that I went to the ER for immediate medical attention. I thank God I did NOT wait as even though the MRI only showed small partial tears when I went for the first surgery the doc found way WAY more damage than the MRI showed. I had a SLAP lesion, bankhart repair, infraspinatus, supraspinatus, distal clavicle excision as ALL of these areas were damaged. I ended up with a second DCE and removal of hetertopic ossification, bony growth on the top of my shoulder where it should NOT have been.

    Bottom line you need to see your doc about this and the sooner the better, IMHO.

    Take Care and Be Well.

    Steel
    "He who is his own lawyer has a fool for a client"
    Abraham Lincoln


    Take Care and Be Well.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: Flexor Tendon Injury

    Thanks alot Steel. I appreciate you taking the time to help me with this. Ive been doing some research and it seems like it could be the Rotator Cuff bothering me or possibly an Ulnar nerve. The pain just keeps getting worse and worse. The pain is now so constant in my back , near my shoulder blade , that Im losing sleep and cant seem to get comfortable. My next doctors appointment is May 17th , but he was talking about discussing a trigger finger surgery , or a possible digit widget , and he never seems to give me alot of time so Im not sure how much attention he will pay to my shoulder and back. Thank you all for your help.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Georgia
    Posts
    1,928

    Default Re: Flexor Tendon Injury

    OK first and foremost you will have to assert yourself with that darn doctor. He needs to understand exactly what kind of pain you are having and where it is originating from. You may well have to insist that he order a MRI that covers you from your cervical & thoracic spine to the end of your fingers. You may also want to get an EMG, nerve study, for those same areas.
    Just remember to keep ALL treatment within the realm of your authorized treating physician. Be prepared for a battle with WC to cover these injuries. IMO it could easily be explained that you had more pain in your crushed hand and that over road your being able to feel the full impact of the injury in your upper extremity. Do NOT let this doc brush you off. Like I said you are going to just have to assert yourself enough that he does his job. Even if that is to refer you to another doctor.

    Hope you get to feeling better soon.

    TC & BW

    Steel
    "He who is his own lawyer has a fool for a client"
    Abraham Lincoln


    Take Care and Be Well.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: Flexor Tendon Injury

    Yes , you put that very well. I do believe that I was more focused on the crushed hand , and not the upper extremity injuries. Not to mention the fact that I was on pain medication ever since the injury happened in October. It was just when I got off the Pain meds and a month after the last surgery that I started feeling the effects in my shoulder and back. We'll see how it all goes. Im hoping he takes me more seriously and gives me a chance to explain myself. Thank you for your help Steel!

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