Upper Limb Injury Compensation
Upper Limb Injury Claims
Your arms are put under a lot of strain on a daily basis and as such, injuries to this part of the body can be more easily acquired. An injury to an upper limb can result in reduced function, or sometimes no function at all for everyday tasks.
Simple things such as having a shower or cleaning the house can become much more difficult if you have sustained injury to an upper limb. As a consequence of these injuries, you may be unable to do many things for yourself and have to rely heavily on loved ones to help you out, as well as being unable to return to work.
If you have suffered an upper limb injury, we can help you claim compensation and also help with early treatment to ensure a speedier recovery.
At CFG Law we understand the importance of early treatment and rehabilitation following a serious injury. We have helped many clients with their recovery by arranging for them to see specialist medical experts with the experience to help them with their specific injuries.
These medical experts will not only help with your treatment plans and advise on how best to deal with your injuries, but can also help with prognosis of your ongoing discomfort so that we can fully assess the extent of your injuries and fight for the maximum amount of compensation on your behalf.
For advice about upper limb injury compensation, call our expert serious injury solicitors today on 0800 612 8196 or fill in our online enquiry form. If you are phoning from a mobile call 0330 6600 681. All consultations are free with no obligation.
About upper limb injuries
Upper limb injuries can include injuries to any part of your arms, including your forearms, wrists and elbows, as well as your shoulders. These injuries can range from ligament and muscle damage, problems with the joints, damage to the nerves and fractured bones.
The forearm is the lower part of the arm including your elbow and your wrist, as well as the bones in between these. There are two bones between the elbow and wrist in your forearm; these are the radius and the ulna.
The radius is located on the thumb side of your arm, and the ulna is located on the opposite side of your arm, nearest to your little finger. Usually, when an injury occurs to one of these bones, there is often damage to the other bone too, but injuries can sometimes occur in isolation.
Fractures to these bones are usually as a result of a trauma to the area; they can be damaged in a fall, in a road traffic accident, or an accident at work.
There are eight small bones in the wrist known as the carpals. These bones support the carpal tunnel, which contains the tendons and nerves leading to the hand. This tunnel is protected by ligaments which keep it in place.
The most common fracture in the wrist is to the scaphoid bone. This is located in your hand, near to your wrist. A scaphoid fracture commonly occurs when someone falls onto their outstretched hand. They are also common when your wrist is put under regular stress, through things such as gymnastics, where the hand is regularly put flat against the floor and pressure is applied to the wrist.
Often people with a scaphoid fracture think they have simply sprained their wrist and do not seek immediate medical attention.
There are two types of fractures to the scaphoid bone, these are:
- Non-displaced – where the fragments of the bone are not displaced and are still in the correct position.
- Displaced – where the fragments of bone have moved around and are no longer located where they should be.
Scaphoid fractures are usually diagnosed with an x-ray. Non-displaced fractures normally require the wrist to be put into a cast whilst the bone heals. A displaced fracture can sometimes require surgery in order to aid the healing process. This surgery involves inserting a small screw to keep the fragments of the bone together in the correct place whilst they heal.
Other damage to the wrists can include injury to tendons, ligaments and nerves. Sprains and strains to wrists often occur where the ligaments are overstretched and torn, or when tendons are overused, stretched and torn.
Common causes of sprains and strains in the wrist can include:
- Accidents and falls – people instinctively outstretch their arm when they are falling, resulting in damage to the wrist when it impacts with the floor. Heavy objects falling onto the arm can also result in a wrist injury.
- Repetitive activities – sports such as rowing and tennis can put extra strain onto the wrist and result in an injury. Some work can involve repetitive movements too, which can cause damage to the wrist.
- Sporting activities – lots of sports involve putting greater strain on the wrists. Gymnasts for example are continually putting weight onto their wrists, which could cause too much strain on the muscles and result in them becoming injured.
- A lot of stress being put on the wrist – this can include activities undertaken at work, such as heavy lifting, as well as prolonged use of such things as crutches, where the wrists are bearing a lot of weight.
Wrist injuries will usually heal well if they are rested and the correct supports used to keep the wrist still and in place whilst it is healing.
Elbow injuries can range from minor injuries such as a sprains or strains, to much more serious injuries such as breaks and dislocations. Symptoms of an elbow injury can include pain, swelling, numbness, tingling, weakness and a decreased range of motion. The elbow joint contains bones, cartilage and ligaments, and injury or irritation to any of these can result in someone experiencing pain in their elbow.
Many elbow injuries can be caused by ongoing strain being put onto the joint. This can be caused by sporting activities, such as playing tennis or golf, as well as repetitive activities carried out at work. This can include hammering or using a screwdriver in manual workplaces, as well as regularly lifting heavy items.
Acute injuries to the elbow are also common, often as a result of a direct blow or a trauma to the area. Common injuries to elbows include twisting, jerking, jamming or bending the elbow, usually in a slip or fall, or if something falls onto the elbow awkwardly.
Humerus bone injuries
The upper arm contains one bone, called the humerus which extends from the shoulder to the elbow. It is supported by the bicep and tricep muscles. Most fractures of the humerus are caused by a direct blow to the upper arm, such as in a road traffic accident or high-impact fall. Less often, a fracture can occur because of a severe twist of the upper arm, a fall on an outstretched arm, or in rare instances, extreme contraction of upper arm muscles. Where a fracture occurs because of extreme muscle contraction, the break curves around the bone in what is known as a spiral fracture.
In most cases, fractures of the humerus are treated without surgery as the bone can heal once immobilised in a cast, splint or brace. However, if the fracture is severe or is an open fracture with exposed bone, the humerus will be repaired with plates and screws, or a metal rod.
Once a fractured humerus starts to heal, patients often require physical therapy to help restore normal strength and function to the arm muscles. A course of physical therapy for a fractured humerus can take several months.
Some common shoulder injuries can include:
- Shoulder Instability – This occurs when the muscles and ligaments that hold the shoulder together are over stretched. This leaves the shoulder feeling like it is going to slip out of place. The ligaments can be stretched gradually over time by repetitive activities, or by a trauma to the shoulder. Symptoms of shoulder instability include pain that comes and goes suddenly, the arm feeling weak and a feeling of the shoulder being loose. The ligaments can heal by themselves if rested, however, sometimes physiotherapy or surgery is required to repair the ligaments and stop the instability in the shoulder.
- Rotator Cuff Tear – There are 4 muscles in the upper arm making up the rotator cuff. This group of muscles enables you to raise and rotate your arm. There are tendons connecting these muscles to the bone and allow the arm to move. If these tendons are overstretched and torn, it can make the arm difficult to move. Damage to the rotator cuff can occur if you try to lift a heavy object whilst your arm is out straight, as well as by falling and jolting the shoulder, or suddenly trying to catch a heavy falling object. Symptoms can include soreness and tenderness around and in the shoulder, when the shoulder is being used. You may also have difficulty lifting and moving the arm, as well as discomfort when pressure is put on the shoulder. If the tear is not complete, rest will usually allow the shoulder to repair itself. Physiotherapy may be necessary to regain movement in the shoulder.
- Sprains – These occur when the ligaments that connect the collar bone to the top of the shoulder tear. The result of this is usually that the collar bone is displaced and forms a bump at the top of the shoulder. People who have sprained their shoulder will usually experience immediate pain, as well as a misshapen shoulder and difficulty with movement. You may need to keep the arm in a sling whilst the ligaments heal, and then may need physiotherapy to regain movement in the shoulder. If the ligament becomes torn and cannot hold the joint together, then the shoulder is classed as dislocated. If you have dislocated your shoulder it is important to seek medical attention immediately. Usually a doctor can use traction to pull the shoulder back into place. If the shoulder repeatedly dislocates, surgery may be required to repair the ligaments and make the shoulder stable.
- Strains and overuse – Repeated activities and increased use of the shoulder can put excess stress on the joint. This can lead to decreased mobility and flexibility. Strains and overuse will usually heal on their own with rest and stretching exercises.
What to do next
Serious orthopaedic injuries can be extremely complex due to the many complications involved with these injuries. At CFG Law, we have specialist knowledge in this area to not only help you claim the compensation you deserve, but ensure you get access to the best medical assessment and treatment.
We will guide you through the process of making a claim for compensation, as well as helping you get the treatment and rehabilitation you need to get your life back on track.
All consultations are free with no obligation. We also operate on a no win no fee basis to ensure there’s no financial risk to you.
If you, or a loved one, have sustained a serious upper limb injury in an accident, speak to one of our expert serious injury solicitors today on 0800 612 8196 – open 24 hours a day.