The hand has different types of bones. When patients experience La Jolla hand injuries that lead to more than one bone breakage, they will develop a hand fracture. This condition usually affects any bone in the hand, including phalanges and metacarpals. Most of the time, when you get a hand fracture, the condition will heal with conservative treatment. However, if there has been severe damage to the hand, your doctor might recommend surgical intervention to restore structure and functionality in hand. The type of treatment that is ideal for you will also depend on the location of the fracture.

Understanding hand anatomy

There are two main types of bones in hand:

  • Phalanges: When you analyze your fingers, you will notice that the thumb is divided into two while the other four fingers are subdivided into three parts. These divisions represent phalanges which are separated by joints.
  • Metacarpals: Apart from the fingers, the other bones in the hand are in the palm. These bones are known as metacarpals.

Which is the most common hand fracture?

There are many types of fractures that affect different bones in the hand. The most common type of hand fracture occurs when a person punches a hard surface while the hand is in a fist. As a result, the metacarpal supporting the little finger develops an injury, especially in the joint knuckle area. The name of this popular hand fracture is the boxer’s fracture.

What are the indications of a hand fracture?

Considering a boxer’s fracture that affects the metacarpal of the little finger, you will notice slight deformity of the knuckle joint due to displacement of the head of the metacarpal bone. The best way to describe this deformity is that the knuckle joint will appear to be sunken inwards. Other common signs and symptoms of hand fractures include:

  • Pain
  • Tenderness
  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Shortened finger
  • Paralysis

What should you expect during a physical examination of a hand fracture?

When you visit your doctor complaining of a hand fracture, the initial step your doctor will take is to access your hands, looking for any of the signs and symptoms of hand fractures mentioned above. Another crucial thing for your doctor is to assess the bones on your hand and the tendons. This step will help your doctor analyze the extent of your injury. Imaging tests like X-rays can help pinpoint the injury’s location and showcase the level of damage.

What is the treatment of hand fractures?

Conservative treatment is the initial protocol your doctor will follow to realign the affected bones. A cast or splint will provide the necessary manipulation to restore support in the hand structures. It is important to schedule follow-up visits so that your doctor can assess your hand and ensure that your bones are healing properly.

Severe hand fractures may require the use of surgery to restore alignment. For example, if your bones are sticking out through the skin, your doctor may need to make incisions to expose the underlying bones, thus making repositioning straightforward. Contact Upper Extremity Specialists to find out the treatments available to restore structure to your hand.