Neuropathy of the hand is generally caused by compression and trauma to the radial nerve. Bilateral injuries of sensory branch of radial nerve usually occur as a result of tightly applied handcuffs. Affected area is typically on the back or side of the hand at the base of the thumb, index finger and across the back of the hand. Symptoms include numbness, tingling, burning and/or pain.
Recently a considerable number of people stated that they had been tightly handcuffed behind under custody and several of them have serious handcuff neuropathy symptoms.
Presented study aimed to explain the injury and symptoms associated with being tightly handcuffed behind.
Among Human Rights Foundation of Turkey Istanbul Branch last year applicants, eight people were handcuffed (metal or plastic handcuff) behind and they have a handcuff neuropathy were included in the study. Their complaints, wrist and hand examination, neurological examination findings, radiological and electromyography results were evaluated retrospectively.
Eight people, who were plastic/metal tightly handcuffed on their behind, 2 females and 6 males, and mean age was 20.
They have some complains such as shoulders pain, wrists pain, numbness/ burning at the thumb and index fingers after suffering tightly handcuffed and/or handcuffed behind. On external examination, line-shaped skin damage at antero-medial of the wrists was found. Handcuff neuropathy was determined during neurological examination and some of them documented by electromyography.
Determination of the handcuff neuropathy and documented should be necessary for effective documentation of torture.
Funding & No Conflicts Declaration
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.