Common Wrist & Hand
Conditions

Radial Nerve Palsy

What is it?

Also known as wrist dropped, it is mainly caused by damage to the radial nerve. Most causes are due to injury, long term pressure on the nerve or swelling of surrounding tissues. Some of the most common causes are due to improper use of crutches, fractures of the humerus (the bone of the upper arm), and pressure on the arm whilst sleeping, in a coma or when a person is intoxicated (Saturday night syndrome)

Symptoms

It can affect the back of the hand and forearm as well as the thumb, index and middle fingers’ dorsal (back) aspect. It can manifest as muscle weakness with an inability to extend the wrist, numbness, absent or decreased sensation, pins and needles, burning sensation or pain.

Treatments

A dynamic wrist hand orthosis will position the wrist and hand suitably to enable the unaffected muscles to work against resistance.