Hand and Wrist Injuries from Car Accidents

doctor helping patient stretch injured wrist

Hand and wrist injuries often occur during motor vehicle accidents. Many people instinctively throw their hands up to brace themselves for an impact. Common hand or wrist injuries can include:

  • Wrist fractures
  • Broken fingers
  • Broken hand bones
  • Crushed bones
  • Bruising
  • Puncture wounds
  • Joint dislocations
  • Torn ligaments
  • Amputations

People use their hands for just about every activity. If an accident victim sustains a severe hand injury, they may find it difficult or impossible to perform routine tasks. Hand and/or wrist injuries can be extremely expensive and sometimes extensive surgery is required.

What Causes Wrist Pain After Car Accidents?

Wrist pain following a car accident can be caused by any number of injuries, including scaphoid fractures, torn ligaments, and wrist sprains. These all can be caused by several things including bracing yourself for impact with your hands in an accident, or attempting to block your face or body with your hands.

  • Scaphoid fractures: Scaphoid fractures are very common after motor vehicle accidents as the scaphoid is the smallest bone in the wrist. Scaphoid fractures can be difficult to locate due to their tiny size. A scaphoid fracture will usually heal within six months.
  • Torn Ligaments: A partially torn ligament is considered a Grade 2 injury. A Grade 3 injury is more serious and involves completely torn ligaments. Most Grade 3 ligament injuries are extremely painful and require surgery.
  • Wrist Sprains: A wrist sprain is a very common injury after a car accident. Sprains occur when ligaments are stretched from forceful bending. Casts or splints may be used to immobilize the wrist. Ice and rest are usually recommended.

Types of Hand Injuries:

Hand Fractures: Car accident can lead to broken hands. A "boxer's fracture" is a common hand fracture where there is a breakthrough the bones of the hand. Treatment for hand fractures includes immobilization, physical therapy and/or surgery.

Ligament Injuries to the Hand: Ligaments are tissues that stabilize joints. Sprains or tears to ligaments are common after motor vehicle accidents. When an accident victim jams their hand into the steering wheel or dashboard, ligaments can be torn.

Joint Dislocation: The middle knuckle of the finger, also known as the proximal IP joint (PIP joint) is the most likely joint to be dislocated. Treatment for a dislocated joint can include "re-setting" which requires manipulation to get the joint back to its original position.

Injuries to Tendons: Tendon tears result from lacerations or crush-type injuries. Tendon tears often require surgery followed by physical therapy.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: If a person has a firm grip on the steering wheel when the impact occurs, the nerves in the hand or the wrist can be damaged. Symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome may show up days or weeks after the accident. One of the main symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome is numbness in the hands that worsens at night. Other symptoms include:

  • Burning or tingling
  • Pain in hands or fingers
  • Swelling
  • Lack of grip strength

Sarasota and Bradenton Auto Accident Attorney:

If you have sustained a hand or wrist injury from a Sarasota or Bradenton motor vehicle accident, please contact theĀ Michael L. Morgan Law Group, P.A., at (941) 218-8220. We work on a contingency fee basis, so there is no cost to you unless we recover on your behalf. Call us to schedule a free consultation.