Body parts such as the elbow are vulnerable to traumatic injury in a car accident or other motor vehicle collision. Damage to the ulnar nerve, which travels from the shoulder to the hand and allows movement and sensation in the hand, can cause pain, numbness, and tingling in the hand and fingers.
Ulnar nerve damage is likely to occur in the event of an elbow fracture or dislocation. Elbow damage can occur when a cyclist, motorcycle rider, or pedestrian is hit by a car or truck. The ulnar nerve nears the surface of the body where it crosses the elbow, so it is susceptible to trauma when the elbow is injured. If part of the ulnar nerve’s covering, otherwise known as the myelin sheath, or the nerve axon is damaged, several symptoms can occur in the hand and fingers.
Symptoms of ulnar nerve damage can include sensations in the little finger and part of the ring finger, numbness or decreased sensation in the fingers, weakness and a decrease in coordination when using the fingers or trying to grip, as well as pain, and tingling and burning sensations. Sometimes the pain and numbness is so severe that injury victims have a hard time sleeping and completing other regular activities of daily life.
Tests can be performed by your doctor to determine if you are suffering from ulnar nerve damage, such as imaging scans like x-rays, CT scans, and MRI’s, and nerve conduction tests, or EMG tests. Nerve conduction tests and EMG’s test the nerve’s response to stimuli, and can pinpoint the exact area of injury. Treatment for ulnar nerve damage can start out with physical therapy, combined with medication to control pain and neuralgic symptoms.
If physical therapy and medication don’t relieve an injury victim’s symptoms, a doctor may administer injections into the nerve to stop the pain. Corticosteroids can be injected into the area to decrease nerve swelling. If injections don’t work, surgery may have to be performed. A surgeon may shave down some of the elbow bone so that the nerve has more room, or he or she may even relocate the nerve to a part of the arm where it will not receive so much pressure. Usually, after such a procedure, an injury victim will need to wear a splint and undergo physical therapy to fully recover from surgery.
Ulnar nerve and elbow damage can be extremely painful. Medical treatment can be costly and invasive, and a car accident victim who has to undergo extensive medical treatment may miss a lot of time from work and have to deal with high medical bills. If you or a loved one received a serious elbow injury as the result of another person’s negligence, you should contact an experienced injury attorney right away.
Ty Wilson is a Savannah injury attorney who offers FREE inforation at tywilsonlaw.com. Visit today to read Ty’s many articles and to watch his videos. Also, be sure to order his FREE BOOKS before talking to the insurance adjuster, signing any forms, or even hiring a lawyer.