cbrineMemberJanuary 18, 2012 at 10:01 amPost count: 5
Hello, my husband has done repetitive factory work for 29 years (upper body) and then had a lifting strain (toolbox over 50 lbs at eye level). He felt extreme pain in both arms and was at first diagnosed with bilateral epicondylitis. However, he remains numb in the hands, has a hard time doing any pushing, pulling, gripping. An xray showed osteophytes and nerves being pinched in his neck. We are waiting on the result of an MRI. The workplace does not believe that he could develop osteoarthris or cervical spinal stenosis from his job and that the lifting accident is not connected. He has been in rough shape since the lift. Do you believe it’s possible the damage to his neck could be from a lift, or a combination of the repetitive work combined with the lift? He seems to be getting worse all the time, and the only thing the doctor offers is Ibuprofen. Thanks for any thoughts. Compensation dropped his case, saying the accident doesn’t fit his job description. Worked for the same plant all that time, it’s a very rough time.Donald Corenman, MD, DCModeratorJanuary 18, 2012 at 11:51 pmPost count: 8468
You are asking a medico-legal question of causation. Did the lifting of the toolbox overhead cause a neck disorder? I can’t get into causation on this website as that is a very complicated task.
Unilateral epicondylitis is very unusual from one lifting event and bilateral epicondylitis from one lifting event is extremely rare. Epicondylitis is not associated with hand numbness and bilateral hand numbness should signal the treating physician that there is something else going on.
I assume you have an X-ray that demonstrates significant degenerative changes in the neck. Lifting a heavy toolbox overhead would cause the neck to bend into extension (backwards). If there was significant foraminal stenosis or central stenosis, a nerve or cord injury could result (see website under cervical stenosis and foraminal stenosis). A thorough physical examination by a spine specialist should be able to uncover the diagnosis. An MRI of the neck might be in order.
Dr. CorenmancbrineMemberJanuary 19, 2012 at 3:28 amPost count: 5
Thank you Dr. Corenman. We will try to find a spine specialist here in Ontario, Canada. It is baffling for us also that he could have this lift and suddenly is disabled like this. I think initially he complained of arm pain. We went for an MRI last week and our family doctor said he’s not sure if he’ll be that equipped to review it. I hope we can find a specialist. Thanks for your answer.Donald Corenman, MD, DCModeratorJanuary 19, 2012 at 2:06 pmPost count: 8468
I do not know how workman”s compensation laws guide the process in Canada. If you cannot find a specialist, please forward the MRI to me and I will try to help you with the interpretation.
Dr. CorenmancbrineMemberJanuary 20, 2012 at 11:39 amPost count: 5
Thank-you Dr. Corenman. The x-ray results said:
RAD/C-SPINE 4-5 VIEWS
“There is narrowing of the C6 C7 disc space and small anterior posterior osteophytes are present at this level. Small anterior osteophytes are also present at C3-C4 and C4-C5.
The alignment of the spine is normal and the intervertebral foramina are normal except to note encroaching osteorphytes at the left C6-C7 level related to uncovertebral joint osteoarthritis.”
We should have the results of the MRI next week. He’s only 43 with no history of arthritis in family – was a scratch golfer and can barely hit a ball now. Thanks, Christine.
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