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Workers Compensation Hand Injury

Did you suffer a Pennsylvania Workers Compensation Hand Injury?

The Following is a series of possible tests that a Doctor may use to determine the extent of your Pennsylvania Workers Compensation hand injury:

HAND EXAMINATION  Part 1 — Finkelstein’s Test

Q:      How is the test performed?

A:       The test is performed with the  test initially starts off with the thumb up, hands extended.  Next, the examinee makes a fist with the thumb getting tucked in behind the fingers.  The examiner either actively or passively pulls the hand downward.

Q:      What is the purpose of this test?

A:       The Finkelstein Test is designed to look for DeQuervain’s Syndrome.  This is looking for tendon inflammation of the tendons that are responsible for thumb movement. Pain is possible on the top portion of the wrist by the thumb.

HAND EXAMINATION Part 2  — Tinel’s Test

Q:      How is the test performed?

A:       The test is performed with the examiner tapping the wrist, palm facing up, between the meaty part of the thumb and the intersection of the pinky side of the bottom of the hand.

Q:      What is the purpose of the test?

A:       The test is designed to look for indications of nerve entrapment and specifically carpal tunnel findings.  If carpal tunnel is present, there will be  numbness and tingling, usually in the first or index finger, middle finger, and part of the ring finger and thumb.

HAND EXAMINATION Part 3 — Phalen’s Test

Q:      How is the test performed?

A:       The back of the hands are pressed together with the fingers extended and pointing downward.

Q:      What is the purpose of the test?

A:       This test, like Tinel’s, checks for carpal tunnel syndrome.

HAND EXAMINATION Part 4 — Froment’s Test

Q:      How is the test performed?

A:       The examiner will hold a piece of paper in his fingers while the examinee, with his knuckles pointing down, thumb on top, will grab the piece of paper between his index finger and thumb.  If the examination is normal, the flat part of the thumb and the flat part of the index finger will be able to pull the paper away.  If the examination is positive, meaning there is some sort of ulnar nerve injury, the circle formed between the thumb and index finger and the paper will “flatten out” and the tip of the index finger will be used more in a pinching-type manner.

Q:      What is the purpose of this test?

A:       This test is designed to determine whether or not there is an ulnar nerve injury.

HAND EXAMINATION Part 5 — The “OKAY” Test

Q:      How is the test performed?

A:       This is a very simple test in that the “okay” sign is made with the thumb and index finger making a nice round circle.  If the test is positive, meaning there is an injury, instead of a nice round circle, the opening between the thumb and index finger will “flatten out” into more of an oblong shape, indicating an injury.

Q:      What is the purpose of the test?

A:       The purpose of the test is to determine whether or not there is injury to the anterior interosseous nerve.  This is the nerve that’s usually deep in the bottom of the forearm.

HAND EXAMINATION Part 6 — The Hitchhike Sign

Q:      How is the test performed?

A:       This is done as stated.  The patient simply makes a sign, sticking its thumb out as though it’s attempting to catch a ride.

Q:      What is the purpose of the test?

A:       This test is designed to look for damage to the radial or posterior interosseous nerve injury.  Obviously if the hitchhiking sign cannot be made, it is an indication of an injury to the posterior interosseous nerve.  Also with this, the patient may not be able to extend his or her fingers.

HAND EXAMINATION Part 7 — Grind Test

Q:      How is this test performed?

A:       The examiner grabs the thumb and rotates it back and forth in a clockwise/counterclockwise motion.

Q:      What is the purpose of the test?

A:       The test is used to look for arthritis of the thumb in the basal joint area.  If the thumb is rotated back and forth and it hurts, that’s an indication that there is some injury or arthritis affecting the joint of the thumb.

HAND EXAMINATION Part 8 — Watson’s Test

Q:      How is the test performed?

A:       The examiner grabs the wrist, fingers extended, thumb on the bottom of the hand and wrist, with the outside pinky portion of the wrist resting between the examiner’s thumb and index finger.  The examiner will press on both sides of the wrist while simultaneously moving the wrist down and up.  This is testing to see whether or not there is scaphoid instability.  If the test is positive, you’ll be able to hear a noticeable clunk in the wrist.

If you think you have suffered a Pennsylvania workers compensation hand injury be sure to notify your employer immediately and see a doctor for a proper diagnosis.  For a free evaluation of your Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Lawyer, please contact our firm at 717-238-1657.

Ira H. Weinstock, P.C. is located in Harrisburg, PA and serves clients in and around Southeast Pennsylvania. Contact our experienced Harrisburg attorneys today, we can travel if necessary.

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