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What is a claw hand (ulnar nerve palsy)?

On Behalf of | Mar 19, 2024 | Erisa

One type of disability that affects the hands is ulnar nerve palsy. This is nerve damage that causes someone to involuntarily bend or curve their fingers. These hooked fingers remind people of a claw, so this disorder is sometimes referred to as “claw hand.”

In some cases, people are born with this disorder. Others suffer nerve damage due to an injury or in some other way, and they develop the claw hand disorder over time. It can also be more severe in one patient than it would be in another, so the experience may be different from one case to the next.

What are some potential causes?

One potential cause is a genetic abnormality, as noted above. Individuals who are born with this may experience it for the entirety of their lives. 

Beyond that, ulnar nerve palsy is usually caused by nerve damage, such as if someone suffers severe lacerations or a crush injury. Scarring that comes along with a severe burn can also cause ulnar nerve palsy.  If someone burns their forearm or their hand, even if they do recover from the injury, the nerve damage may last a lifetime.  

Finally, there are some infections that can lead to clawed hands. That said, many of them are very rare. For instance, leprosy can cause it, but this is not a common disease in most parts of the world.

Navigating the legal process

Ulnar nerve palsy certainly can cause a disability and you may deserve benefits. However, if you have received an ERISA denial, then it’s important to know what steps to take. Contact our law firm today to learn more.