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Impact of Hand and Wrist Injuries

Did you know that hand and wrist injuries account for approximately 20% of visits to emergency departments?

Such injuries not only have an impact to the physical and mental health of the injured worker, but can also impact health care costs and productivity costs due to work absenteeism.

A 2012 Study completed by the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery showed that in 2007, 260,000 hand and wrist injuries were reported (in the Netherlands) which ranked first in order of most expensive injury types. The total cost to the economy was $740 million of which $411 million (56% ) were related to lost productivity due to absenteeism. Other studies has shown reported costs due to lost production after hand injuries to be 67%-96% of total costs.

Although the most common place of injury was outside of work (64%) the total cost of hand injuries are highest for a person injured at work $49,427 versus $19,557.
Clinical research on rehabilitation interventions for hand and wrist injuries aim to lower the time off from work, thus can have large economic potential. Hand and wrist injuries should be a priority in continued trauma research to guide interventions to reduce the cost of such injuries both to society and the health care system.