Pennsylvania elbow work injuries

In Pennsylvania, elbow work injuries can be covered by workers’ compensation. Hurting your elbow at work is not uncommon. Many times these can be serious injuries that could require surgical intervention.

How do elbow work injuries usually occur?

Like many joint related injuries, such as the shoulder, ankle, and knee, these injuries can happen in a variety of ways. Common type of activities that cause traumatic elbow injuries are lifting heavy items, banging the elbow into something, and slipping and falling and landing on the elbow.
More common for work-related elbow injuries is overuse and repetitive activities. This includes performing repetitive activities at work using your arms. These overuse injuries include working in fast paced jobs, such as assembly and warehouses with constant lifting, pushing, pulling, and handling items and products. Repetitive and overuse activities tend to inflame elbow tendons. These type of activities can lead to inflammation, pain, and nerve entrapment that cayuses various symptoms, such as pain, numbness and tingling, and burning sensations.

What are the common elbow work injuries?

Elbows are a critical joint in the arm and can be susceptible to injury. These injuries can range from simple strain/sprains, bruises/contusions, dislocations, fractures/breaks, ligament injuries, and nerve related injuries. Most of the time, if you have an accepted elbow related work injury, the injury is described as a “elbow strain/sprain’ or an ‘elbow contusion’. Often times, these injury descriptions are inaccurate and cause problems with medical benefits that could lead to denied medical bills, denied treatment, and litigation.

Common elbow related conditions include, but not exclusive, that we see in workers compensation are:

  • Elbow strain/sprains
  • Bursitis
  • Tennis Elbow (lateral epicondylitis) – outside elbow and forearm pain)
  • Golfer’s Elbow (medial epicondylitis_ – inside elbow pain
  • Tendonitis
  • Cubital Tunnel Syndrome – occurs when a nerve gets pinched that runs through the cubital tunnel part of the elbow
  • Fractures and dislocations
  • Aggravation of asymptomatic arthritis – meaning, you were not symptomatic and had no idea you even had arthritis.  (Read here for more information on preexisting conditions and workers’ compensation.)

These diagnosis’ are common in workers’ compensation, but are certainly not limited with reference to elbow injuries.

What types of symptoms are common with elbow work injuries?

Frequently, work-related elbow injuries can cause a multitude of symptoms for an injured worker. These symptoms can include pain, swelling, weakness in the elbow, stiffness, inflammation inside the elbow, painful range of motion, instability, and popping and snapping type sensations. Nerve entrapment type injuries, such as cubital tunnel syndrome, also cause symptoms such as numbness and tingling, numbness and tingling and pain in the hand, including the third finger and pinkly, burning sensations, and weakness that can cause gripping and handling deficiencies. These are common type symptoms, but certainly not limited to these symptoms.

What types of treatment occur for elbow work injuries?

Obviously, treatment will be guided by your doctor and your treatment plan is tailored to your particular injury. Treatment modalities are based on severity and type of injury. The type of injury and severity of injury will be determine by your subjective symptoms (what you feel), by clinical examination by your doctor, x-rays, MRI’s, and perhaps an EMG (nerve conduction study).
Conservative treatment may include rest, work restrictions, pain and inflammation medications, and splinting. If those treatments do not resolve your symptoms, then you may be prescribed physical therapy and possibly steroid injections to help reduce and eliminate the inflammation and increase you range of motion and strengthen your muscles and ligaments.

If conservative treatment fails to resolve your symptoms, then you could; be looking at surgery. The type of surgery would be based on your diagnosed issue.

Elbow work injuries can be quite severe and debilitating. They also can frequently lead to workers’ compensation litigation. If you have suffered a work-related elbow injury, call Mooney Law today for a FREE consultation. We have recovered tens of millions of dollar in benefits for injured workers throughout Pennsylvania. You need to fight for and protect your right to benefits. Mooney Law stands ready to help. Call us today at 717-200-HELP or 717-632-4656 to schedule a free consultation. You can also email us direct at info@mooney4law.com. You can visit our website and complete the Schedule a Consult form. Finally, feel free to follow my Facebook page.

Mark Buterbaugh

Attorney representing injured workers and Social Security Disability clients in Pennsylvania and Maryland.