July 2014

VIBRATORY TOOLS AND INJURY (PART III)

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There are different types of injuries that can arise with the use of vibratory tools. The most common tool is the needle gun and the most common injury is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome ("CTS"). However, harm beyond CTS can occur with the use of vibratory tools. This can include injury to both the nerves in the hand and arm (commonly associated with CTS) as well as vascular injury. It is the combination of both nerve and vascular injury that forecasts the most serious cases of disability. Many doctors readily diagnose CTS but fail to examine or test for a vascular component of this type of injury. If you suffer from CTS-like complaints be sure and seek consultation with a physician versed in the vascular type of harm that often accompanies these exposures!

QUESTION FROM THE BRIDGE

I have used needle guns on ships for years and my doctor says I now have carpal tunnel syndrome and require surgery. What will this do for my future work at sea?
Mario D., Seattle

Answer:
Mario,
First of all, make sure that carpal tunnel syndrome is the only ailment incurred from the use of needle guns. There may be a vascular (blood vessel) component to your problem and a specialist can test for that problem. Once the proper treatment is rendered, you should avoid any further needle gun work. At the very least, you should limit it to one hour or less per day, but avoidance altogether is preferred.

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