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Carpal tunnel secondary to carpal tunnel


Bridgetteg2006

Question

Hi everyone,First of all I would like to thank all of you that read these postings and offer your advice, it is greatly appreciated.

I was an Electrician in the Navy from 1994-2000

My first year in the service was spent rewiring a broadcast detachment and the beginning of my second year was spent working in the kitchen of my ship washing dishes and scrubbing floors.  This is when I first started having Carpal Tunnel Symptoms and they were really bad.   I have no documentation for it while on active duty because I was afraid my kitchen duties would get extended if I complained of pain. Therefore I did my best to work through it.  When I left the service I didn't complain about it either because they said they would put me on a med hold if I had any new complaints.  I had just had a baby and wanted to be home with him.  Through the years my symptoms would come and go. I remember complaining to my PCP but they have no medical records older than 10 years.  I did notice the VA listed me as having Bilateral Carpal tunnel in my records  4 years after discharged, but that is the only evidence I have.  In 2010 I could no longer bear the pain so I finally scheduled Carpal tunnel release.  This was 10 years after service. I decided to get my left hand done first since it hurt more than my right.  Having the Left release helped however I have residual pain and tingling that it didn't resolve.  I also inherited cubital tunnel syndrome since.  I did not get surgery on my right hand because the surgery on my left hand traumatized me.  

Fast forward to now..

I recently filed a claim for bi-lateral carpal tunnel.  My right wrist was denied service connection while my left wrist was deferred for further evaluation.  These are the reasons they denied me right wrist...

Service connection for carpal tunnel syndrome right upper is denied since this condition neither occurred in nor was caused by service.

The evidence does not show an event, disease or injury in service.

Your service treatment records do not contain complaints, treatment, or diagnosis for this condition.

We did not find a link between your medical condition and military service.

At your VA Peripheral Nerve examination, the Examiner opined that your carpal tunnel syndrome right upper was less likely than not incurred in or caused by the claimed in service injury, event, or illness, unless cervical x-rays and or right hand/wrist are located for review.  (The doctor at my examination asked if I had copies of the test results from my carpal tunnel test on me but I didn't.  She kept saying that she believed my carpal tunnel was cervical related however it is documented in my test that it is not.)  

In my opinion, and please correct me if you see it differently, but I believe she denied me because she believes my carpal tunnel was cervical related yet she had no test results to presume that.  I'm curious that If I point out to the VA that I have records showing it isn't cervical related will that help me?  

Secondly,

My Left wrist was approved service connection for carpal tunnel and given a 30% rating stating that I had a prior condition (a broken wrist) that was aggravated by my time in service. I was not expecting to get it approved in this way as I had not considered my carpal tunnel could be caused by residuals of a broken wrist.  However, with this new evidence I was wondering if it is reasonable to bring to question as to whether or not it's at least as likely as not that my right carpal tunnel developed in my right wrist due to overcompensation from my now service connected left wrist carpal tunnel And/Or if my right wrist, at least as likely as not was aggravated (chronically worsened beyond it's natural progression by my service connected left wrist carpal tunnel syndrome by having to overcompensate.

I have seen multiple claims where someone had a service connected bad right knee that caused over use on the left knee therefore they were able to service connect it secondary to the right knee.

What do you think my chances are of proving my case?  Currently I am waiting for another exam.  

SINCERELY

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  • HadIt.com Elder

Bridgetteg2006 Welcome to Hadit. You have a reasonable chance on getting carpal tunnel on your right hand. It is possible that what causes an injury on one side can also result in a similar injury on  the other side (bilateral.) If you have little in service records of complaints or treatment, it might stand a better chance if you try for secondary to your left hand. If you recently filed and were denied,  and if it was less than a year, I would talk to a few specialists and see if you can get an IMO that supports the secondary situation. It will cost you a few bucks but you're going to need a nexus to support that claim, so without an IMO you don't have a lot of hope. That is what I would recommend.

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