This is the second in a series of articles about common types of injuries that occur at work in Georgia. The first article in this series discussed low back injuries. This article will discuss some of the more common type of arm injuries that occur at work.
It is important to understand that this information is not intended as medical advice. This article is written by an attorney, not a doctor. Instead, this article is intended to help people understand how certain common types of injuries are affected by the workers’ compensation laws in Georgia.
Injuries to the arms are quite common. They may occur as a result of:
- Repetitive work (carpal tunnel syndrome, tendinitis, lateral epicondylitis)
- Falls or crush injuries (often resulting in fractures of bones in the arm)
- Lifting, pulling or pushing (shoulder injuries such as rotator cuff tears)
Medical treatment for arm injuries
It is very important to get good medical treatment. When you are hurt at work, you generally have a limited right to choose the doctor who will treat your injury and to change doctors. You can find out more about these rights by reading our articles on medical treatment and doctor choice.
For most arm injuries, it is probably going to be best to treat with an orthopedic doctor who specializes in treating arm injuries. If your injury is to your hand or wrist, it may be worthwhile to find a doctor who specializes in treatment of the hands.
When you start getting treatment, you will find that you will often need testing to determine exactly what your injury is. This testing might commonly include:
- X-rays – if there is concern about a fracture in a bone or joint
- An MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) – if you suffered a shoulder injury and the doctor is concerned about a tear
- EMG/NCS (Electromyogram/Nerve Conduction Studies) – if your doctor is concerned that you have nerve compression, possibly from carpal tunnel syndrome
Sometimes you might experience difficulty getting the testing you need approved. If so, you might want to read our article about how to get workers’ compensation testing and treatment approved. It is important to get testing approved so you can find out what is wrong with you and get the treatment you need.
Returning to work after arm injuries
Many people find that it is difficult to go back to the type of work they did before even after they get the medical treatment they need. This can especially be the case with arm injuries since almost every job requires you to use your arms to some degree and some jobs require you to use them constantly and repetitively.
It is always important to make sure your workers’ compensation rights are protected, but is is even more important when you are going to have difficulty returning to work because of your injury. The reason it is more important is because the insurance company may try to reduce or suspend your workers’ compensation benefits. If you need help or would like to find out more information about protecting your rights, you can get a free consultation with one of our attorneys who specializes in workers’ compensation.