Medical Conditions: Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Hedrick v. MACO Workers' Compensation Trust [01/18/06] 2006 MTWCC 3 The Court granted surgery for Petitioner’s carpal tunnel syndrome where various diagnostic studies showed conflicting results, Petitioner’s initial treating physician opined that Petitioner may have bilateral carpal tunnel syndrome and ulnar neuropathy, an IME physician diagnosed median and ulnar neuropathy related to her employment, a third physician diagnosed Petitioner with carpal tunnel syndrome and cubital tunnel syndrome but eventually released Petitioner to return to work with no restrictions, and a fourth physician Petitioner sought out after benefits were terminated recommended carpal tunnel surgery on the right hand.
Nielson v. State Fund [9/20/00] 2000 MTWCC 64 Particular tests used by one physician as providing evidence of carpel tunnel syndrome questioned by other medical providers as not based on valid methodology and not found persuasive by Court regarding alleged permanent partial disability. Note: In Nielson v. State Compensation Ins. Fund, 2003 MT 95, the Supreme Court reversed and remanded, holding substantial evidence did not support the WCC's conclusion that claimant was not permanently, partially disabled.
Shorten v. State Comp. Ins. Fund [12/22/95] 1995 MTWCC 110 From the fact that claimant may have suffered from carpal tunnel syndrome it does not follow that her syndrome was the consequence, in whole or in part, of occupational factors. A claimant must show that the CTS arose from or was aggravated by employment and that the last injurious exposure occurred as a result of the last employment. Here, claimant had a prior history of hand problems, her job involved less repetitive hand motion than she claimed, and the medical evidence did not establish a causal connection.
Hanson v. State Compen. Ins. Fund [06/02/95] 1995 MTWCC 42 Where unrefuted opinion of the OD panel physician was that claimant does not have an occupational disease and was not placed at risk for developing carpal tunnel syndrome by her occupational activities as a personal care attendant, and claimant offered no other evidence linking her mild carpal tunnel condition to her employment, WCC affirms DOL order that claimant is not suffering from an occupational disease.