Upper Extremity Impairments Disability Attorney
The term “upper extremity” refers to a person’s arm and everything connected to it, from fingers, hands and wrists to elbows and shoulders. Injuries to upper extremities can have debilitating effects on a person’s ability to work or even care for themselves.
Some upper extremity injuries are easier to prove than others. More complex upper extremity injuries are challenging to prove to an insurance company’s satisfaction. As a result, many people struggle to get the disability benefits they’re entitled to. With the assistance of an experienced disability attorney, however, you’ll have a much better chance of proving your claim and securing the benefits you need. Your lawyer will help ensure your application is completed correctly and thoroughly, collect and submit the medical evidence to prove the extent and impact of your condition, and negotiate and litigate as necessary to secure a positive outcome for your claim.
Our firm is dedicated to disability insurance claims and knows how to prove the true costs involved in upper extremity injuries. We can discuss your rights with you as soon as you call (267) 419-7888, or contact us online, to schedule a free consultation.
Why Choose Abell and Capitan Law To Help Me?
Abell and Capitan Law has Pennsylvania office locations in Philadelphia, Newtown Square, and Chadds Ford, as well as an office in Louisville, Kentucky. Our firm serves clients nationwide.
Erik Abell received his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Kentucky and earned a Juris Doctor from the Louis D. Brandeis School of Law at the University of Louisville. He handles ERISA-governed disability claims in federal courts all over the United States.
Joe Capitan maintains memberships in the Philadelphia Bar Association, the Pennsylvania Bar Association, and the Pennsylvania Association for Justice. He was named a Pennsylvania Rising Star by Super Lawyers each year from 2013 to 2017.
About Upper Extremity Impairments
The phrase upper extremity impairment applies to a wide number of injuries. Some of the most common are:
- Carpal tunnel syndrome. The result of a large nerve, called the median nerve, becoming compressed inside the wrist. The median nerve is responsible for feeling in the thumb, index finger, and thumb side of the ring finger, but also controls muscles at the base of the thumb. The name of the condition is derived from the eight carpal bones, surrounding the median nerve in the wrist, which form a ‘tunnel’ to the hand. Causes of carpal tunnel syndrome are not always easy to identify, but symptoms often include numbness in hands and weakness in muscles. Splinting is a common non-surgical form of treatment.
- Cubital tunnel syndrome. Involves pressure or stretching of the ulnar nerve – more commonly known as the “funny bone.” The condition may cause numbness or tingling in the fingers, pain in the forearm, and weakness in the hand. Pain in the elbow is the most common symptom, and nonoperative treatment may be possible in these cases.
- Shoulder pain. This could be caused by an injury to the shoulder joint itself, or to the surrounding muscles, tendons, or ligaments. In many cases, shoulder pain stems from soreness relating to tendons of the rotator cuff (the group of four muscles surrounding the humeral head, or ball of the joint). Swimmer’s shoulder, pitcher’s shoulder, tennis shoulder, and shoulder impingement syndrome are all forms of rotator cuff tendonitis. Soreness in the sac of fluid beneath the highest part of the shoulder, called the subacromial bursa, can also be a common cause.
- Limited joint mobility of the hand. Also known as diabetic cheiroarthropathy, limited joint mobility of the hand is commonly associated with people who have diabetes. It often involves hand stiffness and an inability to use one’s hands.
- Dupuytren’s contracture. A condition commonly affecting the ring and pinky fingers, Dupuytren’s contracture is a kind of deformity to the hand that develops over a number of years. The condition causes the ring and pinky fingers to be bent awkwardly toward the palm and can create a number of difficulties with everyday tasks.
- Amputation. The removal of an arm, hand, or fingers. Amputations are especially limiting, and even smaller amputations will present many challenges for most people.
- Brachial plexus injuries. The network of nerves that transmits signals from the spine to the shoulder, arm, and hand is known as the brachial plexus, with brachial plexus injuries involving damage to those nerves. Symptoms can include limp or paralyzed arms; lack of muscle control in the arm, hand, or wrist; and a lack of feeling or sensation in either the arm or the hand. While these injuries are commonly associated with birth injury claims, they can also be caused by shoulder trauma, tumors, or inflammation.
- Rotator cuff tears. Rotator cuff tears are commonly the result of degeneration of tendons, although certain injuries may be associated with traumatic events. Orthopedic surgery may be required in some cases, but treatment can vary depending on the severity of the injury.
- Thoracic outlet syndrome. The thoracic outlet is the space between your collarbone and first rib, and thoracic outlet syndrome refers to a group of disorders in the blood vessels or nerves in this region that causes pain in the shoulder or neck. Physical therapy may be required.
- Medial epicondylitis (golfer’s elbow). So named because the condition may be caused by the repetitive nature of swinging a golf club. A number of other repetitive motions can also cause golfer’s elbow. It often causes pain in the wrist and fingers.
The list above is not all-inclusive, and you should contact Abell and Capitan Law if you are dealing with another kind of upper extremity injury.
How Do I Get Compensation for an Upper Extremity Injury?
It can be difficult to obtain disability benefits for upper extremity injuries that do not involve fractures. In most cases, evidence must be shown that an upper extremity injury impairs a person’s ability to perform basic functions like pushing, pulling, lifting, or grasping.
Disability benefits are only one possible avenue for compensation in these cases, as some people may also be eligible to file civil lawsuits against negligent parties responsible for their upper extremity injuries. You should discuss your case with an experienced attorney in order to understand all of your options.
What is arthroscopic surgery?
Arthroscopic surgery (also called arthroscopy or keyhole surgery) is a minor surgical procedure on a joint is performed using a tool inserted through a small incision. It is how an orthopedic surgeon diagnoses joint issues, determines the extent of an injury, and addresses the issue.
Should I use ice or heat on an upper extremity injury?
Following an upper extremity injury, it is generally recommended that ice be used within the first 24 to 48 hours of your injury, or whenever there is evident swelling. Ice should be applied indirectly, meaning with something between the ice and the skin, for 20 minutes, then removed for at least 20 minutes. This should be repeated as many times as necessary. Heat will be used later to increase blood flow and lessen pain.
What is a winged scapula?
Also known as scapula alata, winged scapula is a fairly rare skeletal medical condition in which the scapula, or shoulder blade, protrudes from a person’s back in an abnormal position and has the appearance of a wing. The condition can be serious enough to create difficulty with basic daily tasks. Strength training and physical therapy may be used in the treatment of winged scapula.
Contact Abell and Capitan Law for Help
Do you need assistance getting disability benefits for an upper extremity injury? If so, contact the disability attorneys at Abell and Capitan Law for help getting the long-term or short-term benefits you need. Our firm represents clients across the nation, and we’ll be ready to assist you when you call (267) 419-7888, or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.