I was diagnosed with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) 30 days after I retired the military from 22 years of service. I never complaint about it during my career, therefore there is no military health records of having CTS while in the military. Now I have to prove to VA that my CTS is linked to my service in the Army. While in service I was a combat engineer, but because my construction skills, I was always tasked to do carpentry work. So, my case rest on finding a professional to write for me that based on medical studies and current cases all over the world, it is most likely that my condition had to be developed during my career.
Carpal tunnel syndrome can actually develop in a matter days, depending upon the cause. However, it usually takes several months to years to reach a point of the symptoms become significant enough that a patient seeks medical care.
Occasionally, electrical studies can determine how long the nerve has been compressed, to a point. They are are not specific enough to give the time in a matter of days or months, but can tell if the condition is chronic or acute. If you had them done 30 days after you left the military (when you were first diagnosed), and they showed chronic compression, then you have a case. But, if it is now years down the road from when you got out of the military, you will have trouble proving that the military service caused your nerve compression. Especially, if you did not have any symptoms severe enough while in the military to seek medical attention for them. If you were having any symptoms when you left the military, you could also have put it down on your exiting history and physical, even if you had never seen anyone about it.
Again, if you have just left the military, get electrical studies ASAP (electomyography (EMG) and nerve conduction velocities (NCV)). But, if you are six months or more out of the military, it is going to be very difficult to prove that your military service caused your symptoms.
I got my CTS while working in a fast-paced school kitchen and the manager would never put anything down on paper even when I complained of numbness when slicing watermelons or the like. I was constantly gripping with both hands and moving both wrists and this came on in the 4th year and at least 2 weeks or more after the school year started but the school district will not claim any responsibility. Others in the district who have had the surgery done had no help from the school district with medical bills because they say that maybe you pull weeds or something else to cause the carpal tunnel syndrome. In my opinion this was totally related to this job. For the first 2 years in this occupation I had tendonitis in both elbows and it was terribly painful to do my job, but I was lucky enough to find a cure for that, but now that I look back, maybe I should have taken the hint when I had the tendonitis and found another job! Good luck! I even went back to substitute after I had left the school district kitchens and my CTS was feeling much better but after 2 days back in the kitchen I woke up that night with the numb hands again. Employers will try anything to not take the blame and that is probably why I have seen attorney adds for CTS.