Wrist fractures require special considerations for workers’ compensation attorneys. As I discuss in this video, I have represented dozens of clients over the past 25+ years who have been diagnosed with fractures to the scaphoid, the ulna, the radius or any other part of the wrist.
If you have been struggling with a broken wrist you know how painful it can be and how it can affect other parts of your body. Often, for example, you may develop “overuse syndrome” in your other (non-broken) wrist when you can only use one hand for daily activities.
Wrist fractures often take several months to heal and may require the placement of metal hardware in the wrist to stabilize the bones. Hardware placement creates its own problems, especially in a small space. The rods and pins may become displaced and can cause you a great deal of pain. In other cases, a hardware cage may be placed to stabilize your bones, after which you may need to undergo a second surgery to remove the metal.
Wrist injuries, whether surgical or not, generally require an extended course of physical therapy so that you can regain as much use of your wrist and hand as possible. If your fracture is compound you will likely develop arthritis and lose some function.
In a workers’ compensation context, I always insist that the insurance company authorize an upper extremity specialist to perform surgery and other treatment. The insurance company will try to direct you to a general orthopedist or a posted panel doctor but you will get much better results when your treatment is with a hand and wrist specialist. Wrist surgery, in particular, should only be done by a surgeon with experience in the hand and wrist.
I also find that insurance companies will often fight us when we present our argument to claim benefits for overuse syndrome. Even though this condition is widely recognized in the medical literature and by knowledgeable orthopedics, the average insurance adjuster often will not voluntarily agree to extend coverage to the undamaged hand.
Adjusters will try to downplay the need for post-surgical physical therapy and they will not want to consider likely degenerative changes to your wrist in the future.
Work injuries involving your wrist will require thorough and determine representation. If you have a broken wrist or any other injury to your hand or forearm, I am happy to answer your questions. You can reach me directly by email or by phone at 770-351-0801.