Volume 46, Issue 5 (September 2001)
Focal Neurological Complications of Handcuff Application
The application of handcuffs may result in compression neuropathies at the wrist. The frequency of these complications is unknown. Twelve of 190 (6.3%) consecutive subjects kept in police custody presented distal neurological symptoms possibly related to handcuff application. The duration of handcuffing was significantly longer in patients with neurological symptoms than in patients without neurological symptoms (mean ± SD: 3.7 ± 5.2 h vs. 1.8 ± 2.6 h, P = 0.02). A long duration of handcuff application and, possibly, the existence of somnolence or acute alcohol intoxication could be predisposing factors to handcuff neuropathy. A prospective study of clinical and electrophysiological detection and follow up is needed.