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Sach D. Oliver
Sach D. Oliver
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Car Accidents & Trauma Induced Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

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Car accidents can cause trauma induced carpal tunnel syndrome. Carpal tunnel syndrome is pain, tingling, and other problems in your hand because of pressure on the median nerve in your wrist. The median nerve and several tendons run from your forearm to your hand through a small space in your wrist called the carpal tunnel. The median nerve controls movement and feeling in your thumb and first three fingers. Numerous medical journals and articles discuss how car accidents causes carpal tunnel syndrome.

According to Dr. Elliot L. Ames, carpal tunnel syndrome can result from acute injury, as indicated by a retrospective study. Symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome developed in 96 patients within 2 months after an automobile accident in a study conducted by Dr. Ames. Forty-four (44) of these ninety-six (96) patients underwent carpal tunnel release. It is postulated that the mechanism of injury is blunt trauma from the steering wheel or dashboard. (see Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and Motor Vehicle Accidents, Journal of American Osteopathic Association, Dr. Elliot L. Ames, 1996)

Dr. Ames is a clinical assistant professor of surgery, division of orthopedic surgery, School of Osteopathic Medicine, Stratford, NJ. The carpal tunnel joint on the wrist are in close proximity as the hand grasps the steering wheel, and as a result, are vulnerable during impact. The injury can occur when the hand is braced on the steering wheel at the time of a front or rear-end collision. Because the base of the thumb can be injured by the steering wheel and the carpal tunnel is in close proximity, it is reasonable to calculate the carpal tunnel takes blunt trauma during impact.

To learn more about this topic read: Acute Median Neuropathy After Wrist Trauma: The Role of Emergent Carpal Tunnel Release by Gregory Mack, M.D., Scott McPherson, M.D., and Bruce Lutz, M.D. This article was published by Clinical Orthopedics and Related Research, 1994. In a nutshell, the article explains that acute carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by a sudden increase in carpal canal pressure that shuts down microcirculation to the median nerve. The most common etiology (cause) is hemorrhage caused by trauma.

Ultimately, do not be shocked to learn that a car accident victim is suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome. Also, do not be shocked if their symptoms do not show up immediately after the accident. For more free information or to ask questions to see if you need legal representation to fight the other person’s insurance company, contact our firm.