3 common wrist injuries in car accidents
Your wrist is one of the most important body parts that you have. You use it on an almost hourly basis without even realizing it. From brushing your teeth to using the computer keyboard, your wrists help you complete the actions that make up your day.
When you’ve been in an auto accident you tend to only notice the major damage such as whiplash, back and neck pains and other associated bruises. The reality of the situation is that you could have injured your wrists and you won’t come to realize it until it’s too late. Wrist injuries sometimes only manifest themselves weeks or months after the auto accident.
What causes a wrist injury in a car crash?
Blunt force trauma is the culprit that is responsible for injuries to your wrist. This trauma is the result of your body moving backward and/or forward very quickly without you having time to react. Broken glass or hitting your wrist on the steering wheel, dashboard, or even being tangled up in the seatbelt can also cause a wrist injury.
Your wrist has 13 bones, 8 carpal bones and 5 metacarpals. This means your wrist is a pretty complicated set of bones, muscles and tendons. Any auto accident (no matter how seemingly small) can cause a wrist injury due to the complexity of the parts that comprise your wrist.
Kinds of Wrist Injuries
There are three basic types of wrist injuries. Sprains (and strains), fractures and tendonitis. The most common symptoms are pain in the wrist area, swelling, numbness and even a tingling sensation when using the wrist. The pain could manifest itself at the time of the accident, or take days or even weeks to appear. This usually occurs when you hurt other parts of your body and your mind is pre-occupied with the back or neck pain you’re suffering from.
This injury is when the tendons of the wrist get inflamed. Severe pain around the wrist joins usually occurs with tendonitis. Your doctor is usually the best person to determine if this is the cause or if there is another underlying cause (a touch of arthritis, perhaps?)
The 13 bones in your wrist are small and delicate. It doesn’t take much to break or fracture one of them. The main symptom of a fracture is sharp shooting pain…almost as if a live electrical wire was being touched to one of them. For this type of injury the doctor will have to take an X-ray and then might require a case or some sort of splint.
Strains and Sprains
Strains and sprains are usually the worst because they can take days or even weeks before they fully manifest, and even then you may not be sure it’s an injury related to the auto accident. Some sprains and strains are worse than others, and in that case it is very advisable to see a doctor immediately.
The ligaments that attach to the bones may be torn, sprained or ruptured complexly. In certain cases your doctor will require surgery to fix the tendons. Even if you don’t suspect an injury, be sure to see your doctor and have him/her give you a once-over. It could save you years of pain and aggravation.