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Swollen wrists and workers’ compensation

On Behalf of | Jul 29, 2021 | Workers' Compensation

Many workers are familiar with the pain, numbness and loss of strength related to carpal tunnel syndrome. However, other wrist injuries can also stem from repetitive motion.

Doing the same thing time and again can strain your muscles, ligaments and tendons. In some cases, overuse could cause lumps on the back of your hands.

What should I know about ganglion cysts?

A ganglion cyst is a swollen growth around the hand or wrist. This fluid-filled bump can grow but won’t spread to other parts of the body. Thankfully, they aren’t cancerous.

Bumps may disappear on their own with a decrease in irritating movement. Though, once work is resumed, they’re likely to return.

Pressure from the pooled fluid can affect the surrounding nerves and tendons and cause numbness, gripping difficulty and tenderness typical of a ganglion cyst.

Medical attention is necessary when these symptoms appear, not only to provide relief but also to rule out more serious conditions. Treatment recommendations may include:

Rest

Immobilizing the wrist may provide pain relief as the cyst decreases in size. Wearing a sprint for a prolonged period of time, though, could weaken the surrounding muscles.

Aspirating the fluid

Your provider may try to remove the fluid by suctioning it out. Unfortunately, this results in a cyst recurrence nearly half of the time since this substance is often too thick for a needle to be effective. Additionally, this approach doesn’t remove the cyst lining.

Operating

A surgical procedure is typically a more effective treatment option. No matter the physician’s approach, this process removes the entire cyst, rather than just the fluid causing the swelling. The surgeon might also block the connections to the tendon or joint.

Overuse is a common concern for those who file workers’ compensation claims.

No matter which treatment approach is the best option for you, your workplace may need to provide accommodations or time off to recover. Be sure to explore your rights while you take care of yourself.