Car Accident Trauma Can Cause Carpal Tunnel

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 believed 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.