In most cases a wrist injury will not have been caused by a car accident however there is a significant proportion that is a direct result of motor vehicle collisions. Road traffic accidents are a major cause of traumatic injury and represent more than half of all cases handled by personal injury solicitors. If you have been injured in a car accident and you want to make a compensation claim for personal injury and loss just complete the contact form, email our offices or use the solicitors helpline. Our wrist injury solicitors offer advice at no cost without further obligation. If our wrist injury solicitors deal with your claim it will be on a no win no fee basis, compensation is paid in full and you do not have to fund or finance your car accident compensation claim.
Technically, the wrist is made up of the two bones of the forearm, the radius and ulna, along with eight bones of the wrist itself, known as the triquetrium, lunate, pisiform, trapezoid, trapezium, capitate, navicular, and hamate bone. The small bones of the wrist are bundled up together to allow for full range of motion of the wrist.
You can sprain the wrist by damaging the ligaments of the wrist. Severe wrist injuries result in tears of the ligaments and minor injuries cause stretching of the ligaments. The bones can fracture in the joint, particularly the radius, ulna and the navicular joint. A wrist strain damages the tendons of the muscles and can rupture the tendons.
The most common cause of a wrist injury is falling on the outstretched hand. It leads to fracture and to sprains and strains of the joint. You can also have overuse injuries to the affected area that inflames the tendons and the ligaments. Repetitive motion injuries are not true strains but are considered just inflammation of the tendons and ligaments of the joint. The most common repetitive motion injury is called carpal tunnel syndrome.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is inflammation of the nerves that pass through the carpal tunnel, a tunnel through which the median nerve passes. When the carpal tunnel swells, it cuts off the median nerve and causes pain, numbness and tingling of the thumb, and first through fourth fingers. The pain makes it difficult to move the joint without pain an increased numbness. The repetitive motion tends to be a back and forth movement of the wrist.
Overall, symptoms of wrist injuries include an inability to move the wrist without pain, heat or warmth of the wrist, swelling of the wrist, discoloration of the wrist, and a possibility of a deformity of the wrist.
Doctors can diagnose wrist injuries by doing a thorough history and physical examination. The mechanism of injury can help doctors decide what the injury is all about. The entire arm from the shoulders to the fingers is evaluated for other injuries. Pulses are checked to make sure the circulation to the wrist is adequate and to make sure the fingers have adequate circulation. Numbness to the fingers is assessed. The doctor pushes on the different bones of the wrist for fracture. In particular, the anatomical snuffbox is palpated. It is an area on the radial aspect of the posterior aspect of the wrist that is tender if there is a navicular bone. The navicular bone is frequently fractured and is difficult to heal because the circulation isn't that good to the navicular bone. X-rays can look for fractures of the wrist bone.
The treatment of the wrist injury depends on what kind of injury the wrist injury is. When you have fallen and injured the wrist, you should rest your arm and apply ice to the affected area. Compression of the wrist with an ace wrap is good for sprain and strains. If there is an obvious deformity of the wrist, you need to lay it on a soft pillow and cover it with a cool pack. See a doctor right away. Tylenol, ibuprofen or naproxen can be used to see how the wrist is feeling. If you cannot control the pain using these measures, seek medical attention.
With a carpal tunnel injury, they make carpal tunnel splints that can settle the joint pain. If this does not work, you may need carpal tunnel surgery that releases the median nerve from the carpal tunnel and restores nerve function to the hand. Wrist fractures rarely need surgery and can be treated with splints or casting of the affected area.
This problem, which may be associated with nerve damage or nerve compression, is usually caused by a slip or trip when trying to break a fall using the hands or as a result of a car accident due to direct trauma and includes sprains, dislocations and broken bones (fractures). In addition damage can be caused by repetitive use resulting in inflammation of the tendons (tendonitis). Carpal tunnel syndrome, which is a nerve compression problem, may also occur from repetitive motion. Falls present a particular problem as often both arms are affected causing serious difficulties during the healing process often requiring a considerable amount of care and assistance particularly for elderly victims. In these cases wrist injury compensation claim settlements can be substantial when the care element is added into the overall amount of the award.
Carpal Fractures and Dislocations
Sprain / Strain
If you have suffered physically, mentally or financially, you should consider making an accident compensation claim. For telephone advice at no cost from specialist personal injury solicitors just call the helpline. Our wrist injury solicitors will assess the strength of your claim and will advise you on your potential award of compensation without any further obligation.
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The author of the substantive medical writing on this website is Dr. Christine Traxler MD whose biography can be read here