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Workers who have jobs that involve repetitive motions may develop a painful joint condition known as synovitis. It involves inflammation of the membrane lining the joint. It makes the movement of a knee, shoulder or other joints extremely painful. Overuse injuries in the workplace can develop with repeated stress or pressure on a joint and cause inflammation.

If you have been diagnosed with synovitis, you should not have to live with chronic joint pain and stiffness. You may be entitled to compensation. You may seek workers’ compensation benefits to pay for your medical care and replace a portion of your lost wages. A conversation with a friendly, knowledgeable synovitis injury lawyer at Younce, Vtipil, Baznik & Banks will help you clarify your legal options.

At Younce, Vtipil, Baznik & Banks, we have attorneys who are North Carolina Board Certified Specialists in Workers’ Compensation Law. Certification signifies that we have specialized training and knowledge in this complex area of law. We know North Carolina workers’ compensation law, and we use our knowledge and experience to help injured workers. We welcome your calls. Schedule a free consultation with a Raleigh synovitis workers’ compensation attorney by calling 919-661-9000. We can discuss your questions in English or Spanish.

Diagnosis of Synovitis

The synovium is a connective tissue that lines the inside of the joint such as the knee joint, shoulder joint, and ankle joint. It is also known as the stratum synovium or synovial stratum. The thin synovium membrane produces synovial fluid that lubricates the joints.

When the synovium is inflamed, it becomes swollen with excess synovial fluid, making it stiff and painful to move. The fluid contains an enzyme that can eventually eat away the cartilage and bone of the joint and lead to degenerative changes.

When the synovium lining the sheath surrounding tendons in the wrists, ankles, hands, or feet become inflamed due to overuse, the condition may be diagnosed as tenosynovitis or tendon sheath synovitis. The symptoms are joint stiffness and loss of function.

If you have developed joint pain, you should seek medical treatment promptly. If it’s work-related and covered as a workers’ compensation claim, your employer or the insurance provider will decide where you go for medical treatment. A patient suffering from synovial inflammation will experience joint pain and may present other symptoms.

A doctor will look for signs of:

  • Swelling
  • Redness
  • Warmth
  • Tenderness in the joint

It may be painful to move the joint. The doctor may order an imaging test such as an MRI or other imaging tests to confirm the synovitis diagnosis and rule out other possible medical issues such as a broken bone or infection.

Be sure to explain to the doctor the type of work that you do if you believe the joint inflammation may be related to your job. The doctor can evaluate whether the condition may be work-related.

If the condition occurred as a result of repetitive activity on the job or by trauma on the job, then the doctor may diagnose it as an occupation-related injury or condition.

North Carolina requires most employers to maintain workers’ compensation insurance to provide benefits to workers who are injured on the job or develop occupational diseases. If you are a full-time or part-time employee, you may be entitled to full worker’s compensation benefits if you have been diagnosed with work-related synovitis injury.

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What Causes Synovitis?

Synovitis is an inflammation of the connective tissue that lines the inside of the joint.

The most common cause of synovitis in an active person is overuse of the joint. It’s a common condition in employees who perform jobs that involve repetitive motions such as lifting or bending. Workers who work on production lines or in processing plants and have jobs that involve repetitive motions may develop joint pain over time-related to synovitis.

Synovial inflammation also may be caused by trauma to the joint occurring in a work-related accident. Trauma to a joint can cause inflammation to the lining of the joint. In cases of synovitis caused by an injury or trauma, typically, the inflammation is confined to the joint that experienced the trauma.

Synovitis also occurs frequently in people who have inflammatory arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder that can affect the lining of the joints. Arthritis usually causes swelling and pain.

Treating Synovitis

Joints such as elbow joint, knee joints and shoulder joints are complex.

Treatments for synovitis typically involve resting the painful joint, applying ice to reduce swelling and taking medications to reduce the inflammation. A doctor may prescribe over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen.

A doctor also may inject corticosteroids into the joint to reduce inflammation and refer the patient for physical therapy.

If the synovitis does not respond to these medical treatments, the doctor may recommend surgery. A synovectomy is a surgical procedure that involves removing the synovium membrane surrounding a joint. The surgery may relieve joint pain and increase the range of motion in the joint. You may miss work for several months while recovering from the surgery.

Diagnosis of De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis

De Quervain’s tenosynovitis involves irritation and swelling of the tendons around the base of the thumb. It’s also referred to as de Quervain’s tendonitis.

The symptoms may include numbness, tingling, and pain in the hands, wrists, and arms. Pain may develop in one hand or both hands. The pain may get worse when you try to grip an object or move your wrist. The swelling of the tendon may interfere with the movement of the thumb.

A doctor may conduct a simple test known as a Finkelstein test to evaluate whether you have tenosynovitis. The doctor may ask you to lay your thumb across the palm of your hand and then bend your fingers over your thumb. Then the doctor will ask you to bend your wrist down toward your little finger. If the movement causes pain on the side of your wrist, you most likely have de Quervain’s tenosynovitis.

What Causes De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis?

The most frequent cause of tenosynovitis is chronic overuse of the wrist. Jobs that involve repetitive motions such as assembly line work, gripping machinery or tools for extended periods of time, loading or unloading boxes, or production line work in processing plants frequently are significant contributing factors to the development of tendonitis.

The condition most commonly affects middle-aged women.

If you are experiencing hand or wrist pain and suspect that it is related to your work, you should see a doctor. Be sure to explain to the doctor the type of work that you do. Inform your employer if you believe the wrist inflammation is related to your job.

If your condition is more serious and does not respond to non-surgical treatments, a doctor may recommend wrist surgery to relieve your pain. The de Quervain’s release surgical procedure involves opening the sheath around the base of the thumb to relieve painful pressure on the tendons.

If the condition develops as a result of repetitive work-related activities, your surgery and other medical treatment should be covered by your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance.

There are other possible causes of de Quervain’s disease, too.

An employer’s workers’ comp insurance company may list one of these as a reason for denying your workers’ comp claim.

  • Rheumatoid Arthritis—The condition can occur as a result of systemic diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis that cause inflammation.
  • Scar tissue—An injury to the hand or wrist may create scar tissue that restricts movement of the tendon and causes de Quervain’s disease.
  • Pregnancy—Hormone fluctuations during pregnancy and fluid retention may cause swelling of tendons leading to de Quervain’s disease.

When making a workers’ compensation claim, you are required to seek treatment from a doctor selected by your employer. When seeing the doctor, it will be important to explain the repetitive nature of your job and the pain you are experiencing.

You may seek a second opinion from a doctor of your own choice. If needed, our knowledgeable tenosynovitis injury attorneys at Younce, Vtipil, Baznik & Banks can refer you to a doctor who is familiar with treating work-related repetitive motion injuries. A second opinion can provide valuable medical evidence to support your workers’ compensation claim.

Choosing a Synovitis Workers’ Comp Attorney

If your workers’ compensation claim is accepted, all of your medical care will be paid for by your employer or the insurance provider. However, injuries involving repetitive motion are often questioned by workers’ comp insurance administrators because there is not a specific date when the injury occurred.

If your employer or the employer’s workers’ compensation insurance administrator disputes that your synovitis was work-related, you should not give up without speaking with a knowledgeable synovitis injury lawyer.

Our attorneys at Younce, Vtipil, Baznik & Banks have successfully helped injured workers diagnosed with synovitis pursue full workers’ compensation benefits.

It’s important to inform yourself about your legal options and there is no cost to do so. If you take advantage of a free consultation with a workers’ compensation lawyer at Younce, Vtipil, Baznik & Banks, we will answer your questions. If we believe you have a valid synovitis workers’ comp claim, we’ll offer to handle your claim on a contingency fee basis.

As part of our representation, we’ll gather your medical records and evaluate whether it would be beneficial for you to receive a second medical evaluation to supplement your medical record. We can help you get a referral to a specialist if needed.

In preparing your claim, we will compile information to show how your diagnosis qualifies for workers’ compensation benefits.

The types of records we typically gather include:

  • Results of medical tests
  • Medical records
  • Statements of witnesses about work conditions, job duties, and the impact of the injury on your life
  • Opinions of medical specialists.

We handle workers’ compensation cases on a contingency fee basis. That allows you to have experienced legal counsel without having to pay money out of pocket. Our workers’ compensation attorney will only collect a legal fee if Younce, Vtipil, Baznik & Banks obtain compensation for you through a synovitis workers’ compensation settlement or court award. If we are successful in your case, then we receive a portion of the settlement to cover our legal fee and case expenses. If we don’t win, you don’t owe us a legal fee. It’s as simple as that.

Younce Vtipil Baznik & Banks personal injury law team

Contact Our Raleigh Synovitis Workers’ Compensation Attorneys

If you are experiencing joint pain and have been diagnosed with synovitis, you may be entitled to apply for worker’s compensation benefits. Schedule a free consultation with a Raleigh synovitis lawyer to review your diagnosis and discuss your options. Our attorneys understand how insurance companies try to avoid paying claims by disputing valid workers’ comp claims related to joint pain caused by overuse. We will work with your doctor to document your synovitis and its association with your job.

Schedule a free consultation with a Raleigh synovitis workers’ compensation attorney at Younce, Vtipil, Baznik & Banks by calling 919-661-9000. We have attorneys and staff who can answer your legal questions in English or Spanish. Call us today.

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