Wrist Injuries from Accidents Explained

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Slip and Fall Lawyer

Wrist injuries caused by accidents are quite common and can vary in severity depending on the nature of the accident and the forces involved. Some common types of wrist injuries resulting from accidents include:

Wrist fractures are among the most frequent injuries resulting from falls and accidents. The radius and ulna bones in the forearm can break near the wrist joint. Colles’ fracture is a specific type of wrist fracture where the radius bone breaks, and the fractured end of the bone tilts upward.  

Within the wrist, there are 8 small bones called carpal bones.  The way these bones function together is quite intricate and movement is with divine precision. Although fractures of the carpal bones are less common than fractures of the larger forearm bones (radius and ulna), they can still  fracture due to high-energy trauma or direct impact to the wrist. The carpal bones form the wrist joint. They are arranged in two rows of four bones each:

  1. Proximal row (closer to the forearm):
    • Scaphoid
    • Lunate
    • Triquetrum
    • Pisiform
  2. Distal row (closer to the hand):
    • Trapezium
    • Trapezoid
    • Capitate
    • Hamate

Fractures of the carpal bones can be classified based on the specific bone involved and the location of the fracture. Some common types of carpal bone fractures include:

  1. Scaphoid Fracture
    The scaphoid bone is the most commonly fractured carpal bone. A fall on an outstretched hand is a typical cause of a scaphoid fracture. Due to its location and blood supply, scaphoid fractures can be slow to heal and may require special attention to prevent complications like avascular necrosis (loss of blood supply to the bone).
  2. Triquetral Fracture
     Fractures of the triquetrum can occur due to falls or direct blows to the wrist.
  3. Fractures of Other Carpal Bones
    Fractures can also affect other carpal bones, though they are less common than scaphoid fractures. The hamate bone, for example, can be injured in athletes who use racquets or clubs frequently.

Symptoms of carpal bone fractures may include pain, swelling, tenderness, and limited wrist movement. Depending on the type and severity of the fracture, treatment options may include:

  • Immobilization
    Wearing a cast or splint to keep the wrist and hand stable during the healing process.
  • Surgery
    Some fractures may require surgical intervention, especially if the bones are displaced or unstable.
  • Medication
    Pain relievers may be prescribed to manage pain and inflammation.
  • Therapy
    After the initial healing phase, therapy can help restore wrist strength and function.

 Types of Accident Injuries

  1. Sprains and Strains: A sudden impact or fall can cause sprains (ligament injuries) or strains (muscle or tendon injuries) in the wrist. These injuries can range from mild to severe and may cause pain, swelling, and limited range of motion.
  2. Dislocations: Wrist dislocations occur when the bones in the wrist joint are forced out of their normal positions. This injury can be quite painful and often requires immediate medical attention to reset the bones properly.
  3. Tendon Injuries: Tendons are tough bands of tissue that connect muscles to bones. In an accident, tendons in the wrist can be stretched, torn, or even ruptured, leading to significant pain and reduced hand and wrist function.
  4. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: Although not directly an injury, carpal tunnel syndrome can be aggravated by accidents. Repetitive motions or sudden impacts can lead to increased pressure on the median nerve in the wrist, causing pain, tingling, and numbness in the hand.
  5. Crush Injuries: Accidents involving heavy objects or machinery can lead to crush injuries in the wrist, which can cause damage to bones, nerves, and blood vessels.
  6. Contusions and Bruises: Blunt force trauma to the wrist can result in bruises or contusions, which may cause pain and swelling but typically do not lead to long-term damage.

In any case of wrist injury caused by an accident, fast and effective treatment is key. Ignoring or improperly managing a wrist injury can lead to chronic pain, decreased mobility, and potential complications in the future including fusion of bones of the wrist. 

You want to ensure proper diagnosis and treatment of these injuries.  Medical attention should be with a qualified medical provider that knows how to care for you and who knows about insurance claims.  Not all doctors want to get involved with insurance claims; and for those who do not, they can seriously damage your bodily injury claim.  Our Charlotte, NC slip and fall lawyer can help you find the right doctor for the type of injury you have sustained.  Picking a doctor at random is a sure recipe for insurance claim issues.  

Early detection and treatment intervention of an injury is critical to assure the best healing outcome.  The medical/scientific literature is full of research on why this is so, but you must evaluate, treat and get proper legal representation.  As a doctor who represents injured people, I know injuries.  I treated thousands of accident injuries, and now I represent them in the legal arena.  I fight for you and never for insurance companies.  Call us if you need our help.  Our staff at Ted A. Greve & Associates, PA is highly trained to help you every step of the way.  The call to and consultation with my office are free.  Call 1-800-333-4333 24 hours a day so that we can help start you on the way to health, and insurance claim, recovery.