Any injury to the wrist can be very painful and limit your ability to carry out the normal every day tasks. Washing, dressing, preparing food, household chores and working can all become much more difficult or even impossible if you are unable to properly and painlessly move your wrist.

Common wrist injuries

The wrist is a relatively complex and fragile part of the body. It is constructed of 8 small bones, collectively called the carpal bones, which interact with the ends of the two bones in the forearm, the radial and ulna bones. There are then ligaments, tendons and nerves which connect the various parts of the hand, fingers and wrist to the rest of the arm.

All of these parts of the wrist can be injured in one way or another. Fractures to the wrist are common, and account for about 25% of all fractures to limbs. The most commonly broken bones in the wrist are the ulnar and radial bones at the end of the forearm; the small carpal bones are much less likely to suffer fractures.

There are many different types of fracture to the wrist, and each fracture has its own name depending on which bone is injured and where. Some of the more frequently encountered fractures are as follows:

Colles’ fracture

Colles’ fracture is the most common wrist fracture. It is where the end of the radial bone (the bone in the forearm that is on the thumb side) is fractured near to where the bone joins the wrist. The fractured part of the bone will have moved upwards, towards the back of the hand. The ulnar bone (the bone in the forearm that is on the little finger side) may also be fractured.

Smith’s fracture

A Smith’s fracture is in the same place as a Colles’ fracture, but with the fractured part of the bone moved downwards, towards the palm of the hand. Again, the ulnar bone may or may not be fractured too.

Barton’s fracture

A Barton’s fracture is where the radial bone is fractured and also dislocated from the carpal bones.

Chauffeur’s fracture

This is a fracture to the radial styloid – the very tip of the radial bone. It is named Chauffeur’s fracture as historically it is the fracture that was commonly seen in chauffeurs when cars had to be started by hand using a crank. When the engine backfired, the crank would spin back round and strike the chauffeur on the wrist, causing this particular type of fracture.

Greenstick fracture

Greenstick fractures are a type of fracture only found in children. Children’s wrist bones are soft and can bend with only the outer edge of the bone breaking.

Scaphoid fracture

The scaphoid is the largest of the carpal bones in the wrist. While fractures to the carpal bones are relatively rare, where they do occur it is most likely the scaphoid bone that is affected.

Other common injuries to the wrist include strains and sprains, dislocations, carpal tunnel syndrome, tendinitis, tenosynovitis and simple soft tissue injuries such as bruises. Arthritis can also be a side effect of some traumatic wrist injuries.

Common accident circumstances that may result in a wrist injury

Fractures, sprains, soft tissue injuries and dislocations are most often the result of falling on to an outstretched hand, usually after tripping on uneven pavements or slipping on wet floors. However, any accident which causes trauma to the wrist can have the same effect. For example, wrist injuries can occur in road traffic accidents where the force of the impact injures the wrists due to the position of your hands on the steering wheel.

Work wrist injuries

Carpal tunnel syndrome, tendinitis and tenosynovitis are much more likely to be caused by repetitive movements at work, and generally fall under the category of a repetitive strain injury or upper limb disorder. These injuries affect the nerves and tendons that run through the forearm, into the wrist and to the fingers. The nerves and tendons can become compressed and inflamed, causing a lot of pain, reduced movement or grip strength, and a tingling or numb feeling in the hand and fingers.

Severity of wrist injury

The good news is that most wrist injuries resolve within a few weeks or months without the need for surgery. However, some wrist injuries can require surgery and take many months, and even years, to make a full recovery. In the worst case scenario, you could be left with permanent symptoms of ongoing pain and restriction of movement in the wrist, hand or fingers.

Whatever the exact nature and duration of your injury, day-to-day life while your wrist is unable to move painlessly can be very difficult, and can have an affect on your work and your income if you have to take time to recover or undergo treatment.

Where your wrist injury has been caused by the negligence of someone else, it is only right that you are able to claim compensation.

Contact us

Our specialist team of Personal Injury lawyers will be able to advise you as to the merits of your claim and then instruct relevant experts to prepare reports on your injury which will allow us to assess what your claim is worth. We can also help identify what your rehabilitation needs are to make your recovery as quick and effective as possible.

If you, a family member or a friend has suffered an injury to their wrist through someone else’s negligence and would like to make a wrist injury compensation claim please call our Personal Injury (PI) lawyers on Freephone: 0808 164 0808 for a FREE, no-obligation chat. Alternatively, you can complete the request a call back form and we will call you.