Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is a quite common affliction. It arises when the surrounding tissue squeezes the median nerve as it goes from the forearm down into the palm of the hand. The median nerve runs through the carpal tunnel. If scar tissue or inflammation or anything else narrows the carpal tunnel, it will limit the ability of the median nerve to work properly. The constriction of the median nerve causes a person's hands to tingle, itch, burn, or go numb. Repetitive motions or other over use of the hands is the most common cause of CTS.
Many Treatment Options
Doctors can treat CTS in a variety of ways. They can give a patient splints to wear on their wrists. Doctors can prescribe anti-inflammatory medications. They can urge CTS suffers to rest their hands and avoid the motions that caused the problem. If none of that works, surgeons can cut into the carpal tunnel and release it from the median nerve. This surgery is generally successful, though surgeons do have to repeat the procedure for tougher cases.
CTS Alone Is Probably Not Going To Suffice
If CTS is your only medical problem, Social Security is not likely to find you disabled. This depends on many factors, however. One, as always, is your age. Your past work will help determine if CTS is enough for Social Security to find you disabled. Keep in mind that if you are above age 50, and especially above age 55, Social Security's primary inquiry will be if you can return to any of the work you have done in the 15 years before you became disabled. If this past work required frequent use of your hands, CTS could be sufficient to support a finding that you are disabled.
Younger And More Skilled Workers Less Likely To Be Found Disabled.
The younger you are and the more job skills you possess, the less likely it is that Social Security will say you are disabled due to CTS. Below age 50, you have to show you cannot even do sedentary work. Odds are good that there is a job out there that does not require frequent use of your hands. If you have a lot of education or work skills, it is also less likely that Social Security will say you CTS renders you unable to work. The educated skilled workers simply have more vocational options.
A Surgery In Time Saves Nine
The use of your hands is critical to almost any work. But it is relatively rare where having CTS and no other limitations is going to
result in Social Security saying you are disabled. Keep in mind, too, that you have to be off of work for at least 1 full year to get disability benefits. A good surgeon might get you back to work much sooner than one year.
If you have CTS, let me know how it affects your ability to work.