Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Wrist FAQ


I injured my forearm in a work-related accident six months ago. I'm not having any pain, but I still can't get a good grip with that hand. What's the hold up?


Regaining grip and pinch strength are part of the recovery process from an arm injury. Nerves control the muscles. If there has been a nerve injury, rehab takes longer. If more than one nerve was damaged, then return of grip strength may be delayed even more.

Researchers in the Netherlands compared groups of workers with arm injuries. They found that patients with both an ulnar nerve and a median nerve injury had a slower recovery. Ulnar nerve damage especially affects grip strength. It takes longer for this nerve to repair itself.

One other factor should be considered. There is greater loss of muscle strength if the blood vessels to the forearm, wrist, or hand were cut or damaged. Healing and recovery take longer if this is the case.

Coen N.P. Bruyns, MD, et al. Predictors for Return to Work in Patients With Median and Ulnar Nerve Injuries. In The Journal of Hand Surgery. January 2003. Vol. 28A. No. 1. Pp. 28-34.

*Disclaimer:* The information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read in this topic.
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