Uncommon Injuries: Can I Be A Victim?
We are all very familiar with the occasional paper cut and stubbed toe. These are everyday injures that we sometimes feel are unavoidable. But what if I told you there was a way to avoid these injuries? Not just every day injuries but also the uncommon injuries that we don’t tend to think about.
You may ask what exactly is a uncommon injury and how can I keep myself from avoiding them? These types of injuries are everywhere and usually are the ones we think could never happen to us. The ‘It won’t happen to me’ phrase is a common thought that passes through someone’s mind just before they sustain a serious injury.
By saying that something could never happen to you, you are ignoring the fact that it could occur. When we ignore or avoid certain thoughts we are putting our own safety in danger because we feel as if we are in a way, invincible. There will someday be a day when you find yourself in a situation where an injury occurs that you never thought could happen to you.
Here are a few examples of how this line of thinking has got people into trouble.
This type of injury is called a Comminuted Fracture meaning the bone is shattered in to many pieces. Most human bones are surprisingly strong and can generally stand up to fairly strong impacts or forces.
However, if that force is too powerful, or there is something wrong with the bone, it can fracture. The older we get the more fragile our bones become hence the easier they are to break and fracture.
A crush injury occurs when force or pressure is put on a body part. This type of injury most often happens when part of the body is squeezed between two heavy objects. Simple safety measures can dramatically reduce the risk of comminuted fracture injures to yourself and other workers.
Ruptured Right Biceps Tendon
A Supervisor who was working for a resource company was assisting an employee in maneuvering a refrigerator through a doorway to place in a different area. The Supervisor’s right arm was placed under too much pressure and suffered a total distal tear of his bicep tendon. This very uncommon injury pushes the torn muscles together and they form almost a uneven ball shape.
The closest thing you can relate it to is the famous cartoon character Popeye’s’ biceps. So if this particular injury were to happen to you around Halloween time it would make the perfect authentic Halloween costume.
The Man ended up having to get surgery to fix the tear and recovered within an appropriate time period. But if he were to follow the policies and procedures that the company had in place this injury could have been easily avoided.
Almost all companies have policies and procedures unique to their place of employment which should be implemented before a task is performed in order to identify the risks. These 2 men most likely thought “we are just moving a fridge, we will be ok” and decided not to consider the consequences of the task. The lesson we learn here is to think before you act and not adopt the mentality of “it won’t happen to me”.
Hypothena Hammer Syndrome
Our hands perform many important roles for us every day; writing, picking things up, driving and so much more. However a hammer is not one of the roles our hands should take on. Using any part of your hand in this way, especially the base, can lead to serious problems.
At the base of your hand you’ve got two important arteries. The one on the inside is called the Ulnar Artery that supplies blood to the hand, and the one on the outside is called the Radial Artery that completes the blood supply to the hand. When someone brings these arteries to a strong force against an object, it brings the Ulnar Artery close to the skin, causing a potential long-term injury. The injury almost acts in the same way as an aneurysm.
These aneurysms can form blood clots which travel into the fingers, leading to the possibility of losing your finger. They even have a name for this particular injury, it’s called Hypothena Hammer Syndrome. I think it’s fitting don’t you? So next time you decide to think to yourself, ‘I could probably hammer that nail in with my hand’ think again and use a hammer.
De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis
De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis is a painful condition affecting the tendons on the thumb and through the wrist. This particular injury is usually caused by chronic overuse of the wrist such as gripping, grasping, clenching, pinching and hammering.
When we perform a repetitive gripping or pinching motion we are forcing these tendons to move and rub in a section of the wrist called the first dorsal compartment. When this compartment becomes inflamed and over used they struggle to fit in the place they belong in our hand. The continual rubbing of the tendons causes enlargement in the compartment, which creates pain as the thumb tendons continue to move.
Over time without proper care the irritation in and around the compartment become so painful that its almost unbearable to move your wrist or thumb. Anyone with hands are potential targets to this uncommon injury.
You would never think that by picking up a pen or typing on a computer consistently would cause you any pain. Once again we are thinking ‘this could never happen’. In order to avoid these injuries make sure you are taking breaks from your work to stretch out your hands and perform different tasks.
Now that you’re aware of these very rare conditions, next time you help a friend move a couch, pick up a pencil, or create any sort of physical strain on your body – you can prevent yourself from becoming a victim to these uncommon injuries. It’s so odd and strange how any of these, could happen to any of you.
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