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Common Wrist Injuries Caused by Car Accidents

After suffering from an automobile accident, it’s common for victims to struggle with diagnosing and communicating their injuries. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed and at a loss on both where and how to begin the healing process. There are so many different possible injuries, and it can be hard to even know how to self-diagnose or begin researching steps to get you on the path of feeling yourself again.

One of the most common areas we see our patients suffer injuries in is the wrist. Due to the impact of the crash and the placement of your hands on the wheel- wrists are likely to be impacted by the force created by an accident. That’s why today, we wanted to share with you some of the most common wrist injuries caused by automotive accidents.


Wrists are connected by sturdy tissues known as ligaments. When the wrist strikes a hard object during an accident, the ligaments can be damaged, causing a sprain. Wrist sprains commonly occur when the wrist is bent into a backward angle or hits items in the vehicle. Sprains are painful and can lead to swelling, reduced movement, and chronic instability in the wrists and hands. If not treated properly, you can suffer from long-term damage such as chronic arthritis.

Wrist sprains are ranked by three grades according to the severity of ligament damage:

  • Grade one is a mild sprain that stretches (not tears) the ligaments, remaining intact but still causing pain.
  • Grade two is a medium sprain that causes partial tearing of the ligaments and oftentimes, loss of functionality in the wrist.
  • Grade three is a severe sprain where the ligaments connecting the wrist’s bones are entirely torn, requiring medical or surgical treatment to correct. Sprains under this category can also result in an avulsion fracture, which occurs when pieces of bone are broken off from the ligament tearing.


Overall, the wrist and the hand are composed of 27 bones, 13 connecting from the wrist to the palm and 14 among your fingers. These bones are very delicate and can be broken or fractured easily. After experiencing any type of blunt force trauma, such as when the hands or wrists hit the steering wheel or airbag during an accident, it is not uncommon for victims to experience fractures.

Some common types of fracture-related wrist injuries include:

  • Scaphoid fractures
  • Broken wrists and fingers
  • Fractured knuckles
  • Crushed hands

Common Symptoms of Wrist Injuries That Should Not Be Ignored

If you experience any of the following symptoms after a car accident, you may be suffering from a serious wrist injury:

  • Pain in the wrists, hands, or fingers
  • Swelling/tingling in the wrists or hands
  • Bruising and discoloration surrounding wrists
  • Difficulty straightening or flexing the wrists or fingers
  • Immobility in hands, wrists, and fingers

It is important to keep in mind that wrist injuries do not always display symptoms instantly. This is why it is important that you seek medical attention immediately after a car accident to be able to diagnose a hand or wrist injury to prevent further injuries from happening. 

At Impact Medical in Lutz, we’re always finding new and innovative ways to provide state-of-the-art treatment and services for our patients so that we can get them feeling their best, as quickly as possible. Our team of doctors, chiropractors, manual therapists, imaging specialists, and physical therapists are waiting to work together to develop a treatment plan that will get you back to feeling your best in no time. Call us today at (813) 536-4271!