Wrist Fractures and Car Accidents: A Few Quick Facts

Wrist fractures are a frequent injury in car accidents usually due to the force exerted when sudden impact forces the drivers hand back on the steering wheel.  So common are these types of breaks they are designated with the acronym FOOSH, or Fall On Outstretched Hand. Whether it’s a simple fracture or a complicated break, knowing the different types of wrist fractures could help you understand your treatment and compensation options after your Ontario car accident.

 Your wrist is composed of ten bones: eight carpal bones in the hand and two in the forearm, called the ulna and radius. Wrist fractures, medically referred to as distal radius fractures, generally fall into two categories:

Colles Fracture.  A Colles Fracture, the blanket name for any type of distal radius fractures, is usually caused by a force striking the palm of the hand. This can be through a fall or by bracing oneself against a steering wheel or dashboard in an accident. This sudden pressure causes the distal end of the radius bone (where the forearm meets the wrist) to break. Depending on the specific location of the break and what bones may or may not be displaced, a Colles Fracture may also be called a Barton Fracture or Chaffeur’s Fracture

Smith’s Fracture.  In a Smith’s Fracture, it is instead the back of the hand that receives the brunt of the impact and causes the radius to break.

In both cases, treatment options are similar but will depend on several factors including the severity of the break, location of the fracture, whether the bones will need realignment and any preexisting conditions the patient may have. Immediate immobilization of the joint is imperative to prevent further damage. Surgical intervention is often necessary to realign bones or remove bone fragments and clear debris from the joint.

After surgery and/or a prolonged period in a cast, physical therapy is recommended to aid in regaining full range of motion, strength and optimal function of the injured wrist.

Wrist fractures can be painful, debilitating and financially draining injuries. If you’ve been sidelined by a wrist injury after your Ontario car accident, reach out to the experienced Ottawa personal injury lawyers at Auger Hollingsworth.  We will provide you with the information you need to make the right decisions about compensation in your case.  Call our law firm today 613 233-4529.

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