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Wrist Fractures from Automobile Collisions


Hand and wrist injuries are common consequences of North Carolina car accidents, often caused by the force of the impact. Like other automobile injuries, hand and wrist injuries can be profoundly serious and significantly impact the quality of the victim’s life.

The trauma of the crash can often cause broken bones to the hand and wrist. A broken wrist, for instance, is one of the most common injuries sustained after an automobile collision.

A scaphoid fracture, which is the breaking of the small bone in the wrist, is another common injury in a North Carolina automobile collision. The scaphoid bone has the highest risk of breaking during an automobile collision.

Symptoms of Wrist Injuries

The symptoms of wrist injuries are often immediate, and may include pain, swelling and bruising. Wrist injuries are typically diagnosed with x-rays and treated like similar orthopedic injuries. The bones will be set and immobilized, allowing them time to heal.

Some wrist fractures can be realigned without using a surgical incision, while others will need surgical intervention. Pins, wires and plates may also be used to treat a wrist injury to secure bone fragments together when the bone is fractured in multiple places. Physical therapy may also be recommended to ensure a full recovery from a broken wrist or hand.

Different Types of Fractures

Some wrist fractures are stable. “Non-displaced” breaks, in which the bones do not move out of place initially, can be stable. Some “displaced” breaks (which need to be put back into the right place, called “reduction” or “setting”) also can be stable enough to treat in a cast or splint.

Other fractures are unstable. In unstable fractures, even if the bones are put back into position and a cast is placed, the bone pieces tend to move or shift into a bad position before they solidly heal. This can make the wrist appear crooked.

Some fractures are more severe than others. Fractures that break apart the smooth joint surface or fractures that shatter into many pieces (comminuted fractures) may make the bone unstable. These severe types of fractures often require surgery to restore and hold their alignment. An open fracture occurs when a fragment of bone breaks and is forced out through the skin.

Treatment for Wrist Fractures

Treatment depends on many factors, including:

  • Type of fracture, whether it is displaced, unstable or open.
  • Your age, job, hobbies, activity level, and whether it is your “dominant” hand.
  • Your overall general health.
  • Presence of other injuries.

A padded splint might be worn at first in order to align the bones and support the wrist to provide some relief from the initial pain. If the fracture is not too unstable, a cast may be used to hold a fracture that has been set.

Recovery Timeline for Wrist Fractures  

Recovery time varies and depends on a lot of factors. It is not unusual for recovery to take months. Even then, some patients may have stiffness or aching. Severe wrist fractures can result in arthritis in the joint. Occasionally, additional treatment or surgery is needed.

Representation for Wrist Fracture Injuries

Wrist injuries in car accidents can result in costly medical bills from treatment procedures and physical therapy. Furthermore, while a wrist injury heals, the victim may need time away from work, resulting in lost wages.

In serious cases, the car accident victim may not be able to perform the work they used to carry out due to the damage done to their hand or wrist, thereby suffering a loss of earning capacity. If you or a loved one has sustained an injury in a car accident, you may be able to recover compensation for these and other losses resulting from the car crash.

Maginnis Law’s lead personal injury attorney, T. Shawn Howard, has experience handling complex North Carolina personal injury claims. Recently he was able to recover $147,000 for a Chatham County boy who suffered a wrist fracture in an automobile collision.

Maginnis Law handles North Carolina personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis – meaning that you pay no attorneys’ fees unless we reach a settlement or obtain a verdict or settlement in your case.

You can contact the Raleigh personal injury attorneys of Maginnis Howard at (919) 526-0450 or send a message through our contact page.