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What are Hand Fractures

There are 19  bones in each hand, making up your fingers and the intricate bones in the palm of your hand. This makes a hand fracture a common injury in people of all ages.

Hand fractures often occur due to blunt force trauma that results in one or more bones of the hand breaking. A few common scenarios where a hand fracture would occur include:

  • When a hand gets slammed in a door,
  • When an object strikes the hand,
  • When someone falls and catches themselves with their hand,
  • Or while someone is playing a contact sport.

Types of Hand Fractures

Although there are 19 different bones in each hand, there are only two types of hand fractures. Hand fractures are either metacarpal fractures or phalangeal fractures.

A break in a metacarpal is a metacarpal fracture. A break of a distal, middle, or proximal phalanx is a phalangeal fracture.

Regardless of the type of hand fracture, the signs and symptoms often present the same way.

Signs and Symptoms of Hand Fractures

The most obvious sign of a hand fracture is sudden, extreme pain in the area where the trauma occurred. This includes swelling, bruising, and or the inability to move your hand or fingers.

In some cases, an obvious deformity of the hand may be present. This depends on the severity of the injury and how much trauma has happened to the hand.

A crooked finger, exposed bone, or a deformity of the back of the hand are examples of hand fracture deformities.

Causes of Hand Fractures

In most cases, hand fractures will occur after a sudden trauma.

There are a variety of events that may result in a hand fracture. The most common causes are blunt force trauma or due to falling on an outstretched hand (FOOSH). Car accidents, and work related injuries, are also common causes of hand fractures.

Hand fractures are also common in athletes who play contact sports. Football, rugby, soccer, and roller derby participants are prone to hand fractures. Other athletes, such as snowboarders and skiers, often experience hand fractures. A fracture may accommodate a jammed finger joint with different grades of severity and treatment requirements.

Treatment Options for Hand Fractures

The first step in the treatment process is an examination by an orthopedic hand surgeon. If a patient presents with a possible hand fracture, this examination will uncover it. To better visualize the fracture, the doctor may order an x-ray.

The type of treatment necessary to treat a hand fracture depends on the severity of the injury. In small or minor fracture cases, the doctor may recommend external fixation. This includes splinting, casting, and or rest in some cases.

In more severe fracture cases, the doctor may recommend surgery. If hand surgery must take place, the patient will likely have an out-patient procedure. During surgery, a hand surgeon will correct the fracture using internal fixation.

At HandSport Surgery Institute, surgery is not usually our first option. Whenever possible, our team chooses to follow a conservative treatment plan

If You Are Believe that You May Have Fractured a Bone in Your Hand, Please Contact Us

Dr. Mark E. Pruzansky and Dr. Jason S. Pruzansky are top rated hand surgeons in NYC.  Please contact us online or call 212-249-8700 to schedule an appointment. The faster you seek diagnosis and treatment the better your results in the short and long term.

 

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