Of the 206 bones in your body, three of them are in your arm: the humerus, radius, and ulna. Your arms are also made up of muscles, joints, tendons, and other connective tissue. In a car accident, your arms can be injured in several ways, including broken bones, bruises, cuts, sprains, torn ligaments, or torn tendons. In side impact collisions, your arm can be injured from striking the inside of the door. The position of your arms at the time of impact will help determine the type of injury.
The humerus is the long bone in the arm from the shoulder to the elbow. The radius extends from the lateral side of the elbow to the thumbside of the wrist, and the ulna (the other large bone of the forearm) extends from the medial side of the elbow to the little finger side of the wrist. Symptoms of an arm injury may include extreme pain at the site, increased pain with movement, numbness, tingling, or loss of use of your arm.
Some people develop carpal tunnel syndrome after a motor vehicle accident. Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when the median nerve becomes pressed or squeezed at the wrist and can be caused by hyperflexion or hyperextension of the wrists. This can occur if a person tightly grasps the steering wheel or extends their arm to the dashboard to brace for impact. Symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome include numbness or pain in the hand, forearm, or wrist that radiates from the wrist to the arm, burning, tingling, or weakness in the hand. Treatment of arm injuries depends on the type of injury and fracture, and may range from physical therapy to surgery.