We’ve had gamer’s grip, Nintendinitis, and text neck. To that growing list of tech-related conditions we can now add the selfie wrist.
Doctors in the Department of Trauma and Orthopaedic Surgery at University College Hospital Galway treated four cases of “distal radius” (broken wrist) in a single week, each the result of taking a selfie.
All patients fractured the limb not holding the smartphone. This suggests that “selfie-takers value and are protective of their smartphone”, according to the doctors, writing in the June edition of the Irish Medical Journal.
The paper, titled The Selfie-Wrist — Selfie-Induced Trauma, presents four cases of selfie wrist across all age groups during the summer period.
The authors warn that proprioception, the concept of knowing where your body is in space, and spatial awareness are compromised while taking selfies as “attention is focused on a mobile device”.
“This can lead to trauma, resulting in hospitalisation.
“In our institution (UCH Galway), we have noted an increase in the past number of months of selfie-related trauma,” state the authors.
They compare this phenomenon “to the increase in paediatric fractures associated with trampolines and fitness computer game-related trauma documented over the past two decades”.
The cases highlighted in the journal include:
The authors of the paper state that education about the hazards of taking selfies need to be implemented to combat the increase in trauma-related figures.
They point out that the Internal Ministry of Russia recently published a ‘safe selfie guide’ to educate the public on taking selfies, instituted after a number of fatalities were attributed to taking a selfie, including a fall from a cliff.
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