The scaphoid is a bone found in the wrist. A fractured scaphoid is an injury commonly associated with bicycle accidents, as many cyclists will put their hands in front of them to brace for a fall and protect their upper body and head from impact in a crash.
While a wrist fracture from a bicycle accident may not be life-threatening, it does cause a lot of pain and discomfort and necessitates medical attention and treatment. Read on to learn more about a scaphoid fracture in bicycle accidents and your options for recovering compensation if you suffered one in an accident that someone else caused.
Symptoms of Scaphoid Fractures
A wrist fracture such as this is not always immediately obvious. Unless there is an immediate deformity of the hand, some might believe that they simply suffered a minor injury with a little discomfort.
Below are some symptoms that may signal a broken scaphoid after a bicycle crash.
- Pain and swelling typically at the base of the thumb
- Difficulty grasping or holding objects with the injured hand
- Bruising in the area of the wrist
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, you may have a fractured scaphoid. Seek medical attention and evaluation to determine if you do have a broken bone and to receive treatment. Your doctor will complete an examination and may request X-rays or MRI in order to properly diagnose your injury.
Treatment of Scaphoid Fractures
The course of treatment for a scaphoid fracture depends on the location of the break and the severity of it. Your doctor may follow one of several paths for treatment.
Consider the following possibilities of treatment.
- Non-surgical treatments: Splints or casts are often used to help heal a fractured scaphoid. Your doctor might even use a hand and arm cast in some cases to immobilize the area. In some cases, though, the cast might extend farther up the arm.
- Surgical treatment: Metal implants such as screws or wires may be needed to hold the scaphoid bones in place while healing proceeds. Surgical treatment for multiple breaks can sometimes involve bone grafts as well. Your doctor will evaluate whether you need surgery and the type of procedure that's best for your fracture.
Recovery Time for a Broken Scaphoid
Recovery time for a scaphoid fracture in a bicycle accident can vary and is often six months or longer before full use of the arm, wrist and hand is restored, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. During the recovery period it is typical for patients to be restricted from activities such as lifting heavy objects. Stiffness of the wrist is a common after-effect of a scaphoid injury, especially in cases where the patient required a cast for a long period of time.
Seeking Compensation for Your Broken Wrist Injury
If your bicycle accident resulted from someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing, you may file a personal injury claim to seek compensation for your damages. You may be entitled to payment for your medical bills to treat your broken wrist bone, any lost wages and/or pain and suffering related to the accident.
Typically, this involves filing an auto insurance liability claim against an at-fault driver who caused the wreck. But in other cases it might require seeking compensation from other parties who caused the bike accident, like a bike manufacturer. Work with your attorney to determine your best course of action to take legal action so you can recover damages.
If you’ve been injured in a bicycle crash in Seattle, we can help you with your insurance claim and simplify the process of your personal injury case. Call Max Meyers Law today at 425-399-7000 to set up a consultation to discuss your case with an attorney.