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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2019

    Default Repetitive Stress Injury Flare Up but Still Must Work

    My workers compensation claim was made in the State of: CALIFORNIA


    My date of injury is about two years ago, and was for carpal tunnel, repetitive stress injury, and tendonitis. I had pain in my wrists/hands, and tingling. I was taken off work for about 6 weeks and received hand therapy and acupuncture. This doctor (Dr. A) told me that "rest" is the best treatment. I greatly improved. My case has remained open and I would continue to see the doctor every couple of months for check ins. My pain would come and go but overall it was better than it was in the beginning. I have received some different treatments during this time. I felt I was getting much better. However, in the beginning of December, I spent several hours at home cleaning. Afterwards, I think it triggered a huge flare up. My right wrist and hand is in so much pain! I can't lift more than 10 pounds, I can bend or extend it, I can't take food out of the oven with it, etc. At work (I would at a desk), it is very painful to write notes and type. When I have not been at work, I have been mostly resting my hands/writs (my house is a mess, laundry is behind etc).

    Today I saw the new worker's comp dr (Dr. B) and this doctor prescribed me oral steroids for six days. Then she was going to send me back to work full duty. I asked her what am I supposed to do when the pain is so severe I cannot even write notes (which I am required to take handwritten notes), and I can't type. She seemed to get very frustrated with me, raised her voice at me and told me that my case has been open for two years now and I am considered "chronic." Dr. B reluctantly gave me a temporary work restriction of handwriting 10 minutes per hour; computer/mouse 30 minutes per hour, and told me to come back on Jan 30, for follow up.

    I just want to get better, or at least get back to where I was before this recent flare up.

    Is the temporary work restriction appropriate for my situation? Dr. B made me feel like I was over-reacting for wanting to reduce the amount of use of my wrists/hands at work, but at the same time, I don't want to injure myself further.

    Any thoughts?

    I do not have an attorney because I want to keep all of any payment I get offered. But I question if I will be better off with attorney.

    Also, I have not had a QME yet. The worker's comp insurance company has been calling me telling me that it is time to start closing things out and that they will be contacting Dr. B to get a report. Not sure what all this means. I wonder if they want to say that I am at Maximum Medical Improvement.

    Thank you!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 1971

    Default Re: Repetitive Stress Injury Flare Up but Still Must Work

    I do not have an attorney because I want to keep all of any payment I get offered.
    Then you'll probably end up with nothing.
    Complaints of pain alone will not support your claim, it must be supported with objective medical evidence.
    Unless you can support your complaints of pain with objective medical evidence, they will find you MMI and close this claim out.

    Myths and Truths about carpal tunnel syndrome
    Myth: It takes a long time to recover from surgery to treat carpal tunnel syndrome. Truth: The bandage that covers the stitches after surgery can be removed in a few days. The hand can then be used for light activities. Making a fist is encouraged. Full range of finger motion and symptom relief is usually seen within 2 weeks after stitches have been removed. Some surgeons prefer to splint the wrist for 2 weeks or so after surgery. You can usually return to most activities by 6 weeks. Return to work depends on many factors, such as type of work, how much control you have over your work, and workplace equipment.

    Moderator Responses are based on my personal bias, experience and research - They do not represent the views of the admin nor may be accepted in the legal community, always consult an attorney.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2019

    Default Re: Repetitive Stress Injury Flare Up but Still Must Work

    Thank you, Tony, for taking the time to respond.

    I actually contacted a worker's comp attorney today and she said, "You don't need an attorney." She told me to continue with seeing the doctor. She said if I am told to do a QME, that I should call her right away. She also told me if the insurance company does not agree with my worker's comp doctor's report, to call her.

    I am guessing that since my case is still open then I just proceed as is.

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