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Photo of Joshua Nielsen
Photo of Joshua Nielsen

Can you change handedness after an amputation?

On Behalf of | Aug 3, 2021 | personal injury

While some car crashes leave individuals with minor injuries, others cause catastrophic damage. If your hand sustains trauma during a collision, doctors may have little choice but to remove it. The crash itself may also result in an immediate amputation.

Most Americans have a dominant hand. Whether you primarily use your right or left one, an amputation of your dominant hand may make it difficult to work, perform everyday tasks and participate in your favorite hobbies.

What causes handedness?

Instead of identifying a single gene that dictates handedness, scientists tend to believe a person’s hand preference comes from both a genetic predisposition and the environment. Still, you may have begun to prefer one hand over the other in your early stages of development. If you are an adult, your handedness has solidified.

How can you change handedness?

While it is possible to change your hand preference out of necessity, doing so may be exceedingly difficult. A physical therapist may be able to recommend exercises and activities to help you learn to use your previously non-dominant hand. Regrettably, after an amputation, your other hand may never develop the same level of proficiency your dominant one had.

What accommodations may help?

Nowadays, amputees have access to many accommodations to help them manage their post-injury lives. For example, doctors may fit you with a prosthetic hand that works similarly to your missing one. These devices, however, can be almost unbelievably expensive.

While coping with your accident-related hand amputation may be costly, you may not have to come up with the funds to pay mounting medical bills. Ultimately, you may be eligible for financial compensation from the driver who caused the collision that led to your hand amputation.