Drivers often extend their hands to save themselves from the impact of the crash, and their wrists often that get impacted the most. Wrist injuries cause pain and swelling round the joint.
Those who suffer from osteoporosis are at a higher risk of fractures including wrist fractures.
Types of Wrist Fractures
According to American Association of Orthopedic Surgeons, a broken wrist or wrist fracture is a break in the radius bone in the arm about an inch above the wrist joint. A break can also occur in the bone of the wrist or in both the ulna and radius bones. Open fractures in which a bone penetrates through the skin, and compound fractures in which the bone gets broken at two or more places are not uncommon in car accidents. Such fractures often require surgery and prolonged treatment.
Treatment for a Broken Wrist
The primary treatment for a broken wrist is using a splint or a cast. The splint or cast is kept on the writs for a period of six weeks after the injury. It helps join the bones together. The doctor may even have to perform reduction to realign the bones before he/she applies the splint or cast.
In case the wrist injury is serious, the doctor may decide to perform surgery to help the bone fuse together. The surgery may involve installing an external fixator on the outside of the wrist to hold the broken pieces of bone together to help rejoining them. In wrist fusion, the surgeons use plates, pins, wires and screws to set the bone fragments.
Even after the cast is removed after 6 weeks, the patients may take several months to get back to normal. The recovery depends on the seriousness of injury, and more serious cases may require physiotherapy to strengthen the joint. The patient may experience pain and discomfort even years after injury. Even though the residual pain does not affect normal living, some patients may develop a complication called regional pain syndrome. This can cause lifelong pain and discomfort around the break area, and the patient may have to take pain killers and anti-inflammatory drugs for a long time.
Filing a Claim for a Wrist Injury
Wrist injuries can range from being minor to extremely serious. As we just discussed, the more serious wrist breaks may require prolonged and extensive treatment including a wrist fusion.
Wrist fusion is an expensive procedure, and apart from bearing the surgery costs, the patient may have to spend a few days in hospital. Moreover, the patient may also require physiotherapy and rehabilitation to completely recover from the injury and surgery. The costs can quickly escalate and the car accident victim may be left in a financial turmoil. So, it is important to seek legal help from an experienced St. Louis car accident attorney, and claim damages from the driver at-fault.