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Negligence Carpal Tunnel Surgery Claims Guide – How Much Compensation Can I Claim?

By Lewis Cobain. This is our guide to carpal tunnel surgery claims. We look at what carpal tunnel surgery negligence is and how we could help you claim carpal tunnel surgery compensation.

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a painful condition that often needs medical treatment or surgery to put right. The medical staff treating carpal tunnel syndrome, have a duty of care to the patient to ensure that they follow the correct procedures in carrying out any surgery to the best of their ability in order to prevent unnecessary potential problems from occurring. If a patient gets injured or their carpal tunnel syndrome is worsened due to the negligence of the medical staff during surgery, then they may well be entitled to make a personal injury claim for surgery compensation.
If you have suffered due to medical negligence and wish to claim compensation for carpal tunnel surgery, it is advisable to seek advice from a reputable personal injury claims firm to give you the best chance of having a successful claim.

carpal tunnel surgery compensation

Carpal tunnel syndrome claim

Legal Expert is a team of personal injury solicitors who have many years of experience with making carpal tunnel syndrome claims and can help you to get the compensation amount you deserve, just call us on 0800 073 8804 for free advice. You can also use the pop-up live chat window feature to speak to us. Alternatively, you can see if you have a valid claim online, by filling out the form on our website.

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A guide to negligent carpal tunnel treatment

When could you make carpal tunnel surgery claims? When someone develops carpal tunnel syndrome, once diagnosed, their doctor will recommend the best way to treat it. Initially, they will advise the patient to rest their arm and hand, and that any actions that worsen the symptoms need to be stopped completely.

With complete rest, carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms can disappear although it can take several months. However, if this is not possible or appears to be ineffective, sometimes a wrist splint may be given to help immobilise the arm or corticosteroids injections into the arm may be given to help reduce inflammation.

If the symptoms continue, then the patient may be recommended for corrective surgery. As with any surgery, there are risks involved, but the chance of risks of carpal tunnel surgery occurring should be rare with the care and expertise of the medical staff performing the surgery. Again, as with any surgery, an informed consent form should always be presented to the patient to read and sign before the surgery takes place and also any potential risks explained.

Unfortunately, although rare, problems may arise due to negligence during and after surgery for carpal tunnel syndrome causing the patient more pain and suffering. In these cases, they are well within their rights to make a claim for compensation for carpal tunnel surgery. Legal Expert has put together this guide to give some information regarding carpal tunnel surgery compensation, carpal tunnel compensation awards and what is involved when making personal injury claims.

The guide also includes information showing how much compensation for carpal tunnel surgery you could receive and how our No Win No Fee service works. Please read on further to find out about making carpal tunnel surgery claims. You may also contact our team to learn more about carpal tunnel surgery negligence claims.

What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a painful upper limb disorder that affects the wrist and hand, it is often seen as a type of repetitive strain injury that is commonly work-related. Because of this, it can fall under the category of industrial disease.

The cause of carpal tunnel syndrome is the median nerve in the forearm becoming compressed which then causes pain and also dysfunction. The median nerve is found inside a small and thin passageway called the carpal tunnel which is made of tiny bones and some connective tissue, and runs along the length of the arm and into the hand. The tendons and median nerve work inside the carpal tunnel to allow movement and feeling in the fingers.

When the median nerve is compressed, the signals that are sent along the nerve to and from the brain become disrupted causing the nerve to become dysfunctional, affecting the movement and feeling in the arm, hand, fingers and thumbs. If you have been affected by this type of injury, contact our team to learn more about carpal tunnel surgery claims.

How Common Are Carpal Tunnel Surgery Claims?

The NHS releases an annual report that contains information regarding the claims that are made against them over the course of the year. Figures from the 2020/21 report tells us that there were 10,816 claims made against the NHS for medical negligence.

Of these claims, 12% (around 1,300) were made due to negligence during ortopaedic surgery. This is the field of surgery that deals with muscle and bone repair. So, this is the category that carpal tunnel syndrome would fall under. However, this doesn’t mean that the entire 12% claims made in relation to carpal tunnel syndrome.

The total value of claims made against the NHS over this same period amounted to over £7 billion. Of this amount, 3% was awarded to those who had suffered negligence whilst receiving orthopaedic surgery. Whilst, this might sound like a small percentage, it actually equals around £210 million. You can see this break down and how it compares with negligence claims in other NHS specialties in the graph below.

Carpal tunnel surgery claims statistics graph

Carpal tunnel surgery claims statistics graph


What are the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome?

What symptoms could prompt people to make carpal tunnel surgery claims? The symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome and its severity will differ with each person. They can also worsen at certain times of the day with most people reporting that morning and evening tend to be worse, and using the hand often causes the symptoms to become more prominent.

The most commonly seen symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome are:

  • Tingling like pins and needles in the thumb, fingers, hand and/or arm.
  • Pain and aching in the thumb, fingers, hand and/or arm.
  • Numbness of the thumb, fingers, wrist and arm.
  • Weakness in the hand and difficulty with gripping with the thumb and fingers.
  • Reduced feeling in the thumb, fingers, hand and/or arm.
  • Swelling in the affected area.
  • Dry skin and changes in the skin, particularly on the hand.

What are the causes of carpal tunnel syndrome?

There are a number of different causes of carpal tunnel syndrome. Work-related carpal tunnel syndrome is probably the most common where employees undertake tasks that require a repetitive movement and positioning of the hands and arms, but any activity that involves continued repetitive use of the arms and hands could bring about carpal tunnel symptoms over time.

The most common causes of carpal tunnel syndrome are:

  • Activities that are repetitive – Manual labour, working on a production line, playing a musical instrument, activities that require a strong hand grip, and any other work or leisure activity that needs repetitive movements
  • The use of certain equipment – Someone’s working environment may require them to use vibrating tools such as jackhammers or power drills – continuous use can result in this kind of injury
  • Crush injuries – Crushing injuries such as fractures, sprains, and literal crushing that causes swelling of the carpal tunnel or compression of the median nerve may trigger carpal tunnel syndrome.
  • Previous wrist injuries – they can be made worse by certain occurrences
  • Pregnancy – it is thought that the change in hormones may affect the connective tissue in the carpal tunnel which then may compress the median nerve
  • Arthritis in the wrist area
  • Existing health conditions – Rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, and an underactive thyroid gland may eventually cause carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Being overweight

Also, it has been found that carpal tunnel syndrome can run in families and so if either of your parents or siblings suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome, then you are at an increased risk of developing the condition. If you have suffered any of these injuries, you could make carpal tunnel surgery claims.

How do Doctors diagnose and then treat carpal tunnel syndrome?

Diagnosis is usually based on the patient’s symptoms alone. Examinations can be carried out to confirm if there is indeed a compression of the median nerve.

Two tests commonly used to aid the diagnosis are:

  • The Tinel’s sign test – This is where a doctor will tap on the inside of the patient’s wrist, if they experience any tingling and numbness, then this will indicate that they are suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome.
  • The Phalen’s sign test – This is where the patient’s arms are extended outwards and their wrists are flexed down towards the ground. If, after one minute, they experience numbness or tingling, then this will suggest that they have carpal tunnel syndrome.

The Doctor will also carry out general testing such as blood tests, nerve conduction tests, X-ray and ultrasounds, for example, to find out if there is an underlying condition that may be causing the carpal tunnel syndrome.

Once the diagnosis has been made, the Doctor will advise on any treatment they feel is necessary. If the arm is completely rested, the condition may disappear after several months on its own. If this fails however, then a wrist splint may be used or corticosteroid injections might be recommended.

If all of the above have been tried but the symptoms still persist, then the patient may be recommended for corrective surgery. This involves cutting ligaments in the carpal tunnel under local anaesthetic to relieve the median nerve of any pressure. Surgery will only be suggested as a last resort however as, the same with any surgery, there are risks involved. If you have been harmed by carpal tunnel surgery negligence, you could make an injury claim.

What happens if I suffered negligent carpal tunnel surgery?

Sometimes, unfortunately, a person’s carpal tunnel syndrome can be worse after they have had surgery. They may suffer a worsening of symptoms, including pain and discomfort.

Can Carpal Tunnel Surgery Go Wrong?

Carpal tunnel surgery can go wrong. Sometimes complications arise in surgery, even when the medical professionals involved meet the expected standard of care. However, if negligence is involved and you were caused harm as a result, you may be able to claim. For example, if you underwent unnecessary carpal tunnel surgery despite your surgeon being aware of other forms of treatment that meant surgery wasn’t needed.

Some other examples of how carpal tunnel surgery can go wrong include:

  • If the corticosteroid injection is injected straight into the nerve itself
  • The surgery does not correct the problem as the nerve is not sufficiently decompressed causing the patient to have surgery again

Along with other possible problems, both will cause the patient to suffer furthermore with pain, discomfort and inconvenience.

If you have experienced more pain and suffering after having carpal tunnel surgery and you believe it was due to the negligence of the medical staff who were supposed to be caring for you and making you better, then you can claim for carpal tunnel surgery compensation. Contact a personal injury solicitor at Legal Expert and they will endeavour to help you receive the best carpal tunnel compensation awards that they can.

Carpal tunnel medical negligence case study

The case study below is an example of the effects that negligence in carpal tunnel treatment or surgery can have and how it might happen. If you have been similarly affected by carpal tunnel surgery negligence you can contact our team.

Following on from carpal tunnel surgery, a 66-year-old lady sustained a motor branch nerve injury.

After suffering pins and needles with numbness in both hands but mainly in her left hand for around two years with it becoming more and more apparent in her daily activities, the lady was referred by a Doctor to the Kent and Sussex Hospital for surgery. She was given a consent form to read and sign but the only warnings on the form that recorded possible complications were chances of ‘tender scar, pillar pain’.

However, following the surgery, the lady complained of loss of function and muscle wastage to her thumb and hand, also her thumb had reduced movement, her relaxed thumb position had altered and in certain cases, her grip strength was weaker.

These symptoms showed that the lady had suffered some nerve damage during her carpal tunnel surgery which she was never told could be a possibility, had she been told this, she would not have gone ahead with the surgery and would have taken more time to assess any other options. Not only had the lady sustained nerve damage, but she also had scarring due to the surgery as well.

In this case, informed consent was not taken meaning that although the lady gave her consent by signing the consent form for the operation to go ahead, she hadn’t been properly informed of the possible consequences of undergoing the surgery.

The lady, in this case, took her problem to a personal injury claims solicitor who then filed a medical negligence claim against the Kent and Sussex Hospital on her behalf and they secured an early settlement amount out of court for an undisclosed sum plus the costs of the legal fees.

If you have been misinformed of the risks associated with carpal tunnel surgery and have sustained an unexpected injury as a result, contact Legal Expert today so that we can help you to claim compensation for carpal tunnel surgery.

When claiming compensation for carpal tunnel surgery, what can my claim include?

When making a carpal tunnel surgery compensation claim, there are a number of things that you should include:

  • General Damages – These will cover the costs of the physical and mental aspects of the injury and the amount awarded will be reflective of its severity and the amount of pain and suffering you have endured. Any long term physical symptoms problems associated with the injury will also be taken into account.
  • Medical Expenses – Any medical costs incurred that are of a direct result of the injury can be claimed for, these may include medical care costs, prescription fees, counselling costs etc.
  • Travel Expenses – Any extra travel costs that are a direct consequence of the injury can be included. This also includes any vehicle adaptions that have had to be made to accommodate the changes in physical capability due to the injury sustained.
  • Care Claim – If you have needed extra help and care in the home, then the person caring for you can file a care claim to cover any expenses such as lost wages etc, that they may have incurred due to looking after you.
  • Loss of Earnings – Any wages lost due to a forced absence from work caused by your injuries.

Any reputable personal injury claims firm should make sure that everything that could be included in the claim is included to help ensure you gain the maximum award amount possible and so that you get the compensation you deserve.

Carpal Tunnel Claim Payouts

Now that we’ve discussed how you could make a carpal tunnel claim, you might also wonder, ‘how much compensation do you get for carpal tunnel syndrome?’. Although it wouldn’t be possible to give you an exact figure without knowing all the circumstances of your claim, we could give you an idea of what you might receive for general damages.

We are able to do this by taking compensation ranges from the Judicial College Guidelines. The 16th edition was published in April 2022 and features payout examples based on personal injury compensation awarded in previous court claims. Solicitors will often use these guidelines alongside any medical evidence to estimate carpal tunnel claim payouts.

Injury Compensation Range Notes
Wrist Injuries (A) £47,620 to £59,860 Your wrist will have lost complete function.
Wrist Injuries (B) £24,500 to £39,170 Movement is limited and there is significant disability.
Wrist Injuries (C) £12,590 to £24,500 Pain or stiffness may be a recurring issue.
Wrist Injuries (D) £6,080 to £10,350 Soft tissue injury is likely and may take longer than 12 months to heal.
Wrist Injuries (E) In the region of £7,430 Involves an uncomplicated Colles’ fracture.
Wrist Injuries (F) £3,530 to £4,740 A full recovery will have taken place in 12 months.
Serious Hand Injuries £29,000 to £61,910 Your hand will be reduced to 50 per cent capacity.
Minor Hand, Finger, and Thumb Injuries Up to £4,750 Injuries may involve scarring and tenderness.
Very Serious Injury to Thumb £19,600 to £35,010 The thumb is rendered virtually useless.
Serious Injury to the Thumb £12,590 to £16,760 Anticipate impaired grip and nerve damage.
Moderate Injuries to the Thumb £9,670 to £12,590 Sensation may be lost in the thumb.
Scarring to Other Parts of the Body £2,370 to £7,830 There might be a superficial scar on your hand or arm.

Please take note that the above figures are just guidelines. The final settlement award you receive may also compensate you for special damages. One of our advisors could offer you a more accurate estimation. Get in touch today to find out more.

No Win No Fee carpal tunnel surgery claims

At Legal Expert we believe that anyone who has suffered due to the negligence of others, deserves a chance to make a compensation claim against those liable, regardless of their current financial situation, and so we offer a No Win No Fee service, otherwise known as a conditional fee agreement.

It basically is an agreement that sets out what is expected from us and from you as our client. It also will state that no legal costs are required to be met by you if we fail to make a success of your claim. We will only ask for payment if and when your case is successful and you are awarded a compensation amount. However, you would not pay us directly, we take a set percentage of your award amount when the payment has been released.

Can I Sue For Failed Carpal Tunnel Surgery?

If you suffered harm due to negligent carpal tunnel surgery, you may be able to make a claim for compensation. If your surgery went wrong due to negligence and you suffered harm as a result or you wish to discuss another form of medical negligence that caused you harm, contact our team of advisors. They can offer free legal advice, and may be able to put you in contact with one of our experienced No Win No Fee solicitors.

Our No Win No Fee service outlined above can help you access legal representation through our experienced No Win No Fee solicitors.

How to make your claim with the team at Legal Expert

Making carpal tunnel surgery negligence claims can seem complex but we could help. It’s as simple as picking up your phone and giving us a call. You will speak to a member of our experienced team who will arrange with you a free consultation where you can ask any questions you may have about making a compensation claim and what is involved. We will also use this opportunity to gather some information from you so that we can assess if you have a legitimate claim.

Once we’ve established the details surrounding your case and you are happy for us to continue on your behalf, we will then set to work on gathering evidence and will delve deeper to get further information to support your claim. We may also offer you a free local medical if we feel that it is needed and could be beneficial for your claim.

In the meantime, you can be concentrating on your recovery as we will only contact you for further information or to update you on the progress of your case.

Talk to us now

We hope our guide to carpal tunnel surgery claims has helped you. You can learn more about carpal tunnel surgery negligence and unnecessary carpal tunnel surgery by contacting our team. 

Call us today on 0800 073 8804 for free help and advice about making a carpal tunnel surgery negligence claim and we will do our best to help. We are a team of highly experienced personal injury claims specialists that have a brilliant track record of success. Remember, you can see if you have a claim online by filling in our online form. Alternatively, you can use the pop up live chat window in the bottom right.

Useful resources and links

NHS information on Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

This leads to the NHS information guide on Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, what it is, causes, treatments etc.

Litigation Friends

This information from the government will let you know more about the process of appointing someone to pursue a claim on behalf of someone else.

Carpal Tunnel – Surgical Intervention and More

A more in-depth look at the condition, including how it can be treated.

No Win No Fee Claims Guide

This is our guide that will give you further information on how our No Win No Fee service works.

A Guide To The Medical Negligence Compensation Claims Process

Another of our guides explains in more detail the whole medical negligence claims process.

Our General Guide To Accident At Work

Other Medical Negligence Articles

FAQs Carpal Tunnel Surgery Claims

How do median nerve injuries impact your hand? 

There are two main nerves in the hand. These are the ulnar nerve and the median nerve. If the median nerve is damaged you could suffer serious damage to the use of your hand. The median nerve passes through the carpal tunnel, which is a passageway in your wrist. The carpal tunnel connects your hand and your forearm. Carpal tunnel syndrome will typically happen when the nerve is squeezed or when it is compressed.

Carpal tunnel surgery could cause you to suffer a variety of different injuries. Median nerve damage is one of the most common of these. Other nerve injuries could include complications from negligent carpal tunnel surgery. People could also suffer harm caused by wrong-site surgery as well as surgical treatment delays. 

Learn more about median nerve injuries by reading NHS patient guide leaflets.

How long do you have to claim for carpal tunnel syndrome negligence? 

In general, you have up to three years to start your carpal tunnel surgery negligence claim according to the Limitation Act 1980. This three year period will be either from the point at which you know you have been injured or the point at which you connected your injury with negligence.

What Complications Can You Have After Carpal Tunnel Surgery?

After carpal tunnel surgery, you could experience complications such as infections, injuries to the surrounding blood vessels, nerve damage, or excessive bleeding. Seek medical attention if you experience any of these following a carpal tunnel surgery.

Thank you for reading our guide on carpal tunnel surgery claims.

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    • Patrick Mallon

      Patrick is a Grade A solicitor having qualified in 2005. He's an an expert in accident at work and public liability claims and is currently our head of the EL/PL department. Get in touch today for free to see how we can help you.

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