Cruise Ship Injury: Broken Wrist and Hands

Cruise Ship Injury: Broken Wrist and Hands

Broken Wrists and Hands Onboard Cruise Ships

Broken wrists are a very common injury that occur on cruise ships. Wrist injuries frequently occur when a passenger slips, trips or falls – on a wet floor, or unmarked threshold dividing different areas of the cabin, balcony, or ship – and extends out their arm (usually the dominant hand) to brace themselves.

Falling onto an outstretched hand can cause a hand injury or broken wrist. A broken wrist is best diagnosed by X-ray, MRI or CT Scan. Many modern cruise ships have onboard doctors and X-ray machines that can and should be able to diagnose a fractured wrist: but these doctors often miss obvious broken wrists and patients end up going weeks or months without appropriate care. We do not recommend that you rely only on the ship’s doctor to rule out a fracture.

Although long term complications associated with hand and wrist fractures are rare there are a number that you should be aware of:

Permanent Stiffness, Aching or Loss of Mobility

Permanent stiffness, aching or loss of mobility that does not improve after removal of the cast or surgery. This most frequently is seen in passengers who have had severe breaks. Should you experience ongoing stiffness or pain, consult with your orthopaedic surgeon again as it may be indicative of other medical problems. We have seen many of our clients make miraculous recoveries after surgery with the assistance of talented physical and occupational therapies.


If the wrist fracture or break extends into a joint, arthritis or osteoarthritis can often develop. Sometimes, years after the fall on the ship. If you are experiencing swelling or pain long after your trip and fall, we urge you to schedule an immediate appointment with a competent orthopedic surgeon who specializes in upper extremity injuries.

Nerve Damage

Whenever someone breaks their wrist onboard a cruise ship and injures the nerves in the hand or wrist-it can also damage the blood vessels and nerves that travel into the hand and fingers. If you experience circulation issues, numbness or tingling in your hand after your trip, slip or fall-you need to seek immediate medical care from a competent orthopedic surgeon, neurologist or neurosurgeon.

Speak to an Experienced Cruise Ship injury Lawyer Today

One of the reasons we are so passionate about helping people who break their wrists on cruise ships is because we understand that many passengers do not have adequate health insurance or access to the kinds of doctors, surgeons and therapists they need to make the best recovery. We work with our clients to help them find the right doctors in their towns or wherever they are to make get back to their lives, families and work.

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