According to the Mayo Clinic, carpal tunnel syndrome ("CTS") is a progressively painful hand and arm condition caused by a pinched nerve in your wrist. CTS can affect a person's ability to work by limiting one's ability to lift, carry, write, etc.
The loss of bilateral manual dexterity ("BMD") is significant in Social Security Disability ("SSD") cases. Social Security rules state that BMD is necessary for the performance of substantially all unskilled sedentary occupations, and will result in a significant erosion of the unskilled sedentary occupational base.
I represent a 57 year old former road crew chief, who could not perform his heavy work because of arthritis, knee, and shoulder problems. The question remained whether he could perform less strenuous sedentary work. However, the claimant had CTS, which the treating orthopedist said prevented the claimant from being able to handle, grasp, turn, or twist objects, or do fine manipulation. Since the CTS resulted in a loss of BMD, it significantly eroded the unskilled sedentary occupational base, resulting in an approval of SSD benefits.