What is a Boxer’s fracture?
A Boxer’s fracture is a break that occurs in the neck of one of the five metacarpals, just below where the fingers meet the hand. It is most commonly associated with the fifth metacarpal, below the little finger (“pinky”). As the name indicates, this injury is most common among boxers or other people who engage in violent hand-to-hand sport.
What causes a Boxer’s fracture?
A Boxer’s fracture is caused, almost exclusively, when the closed fist strikes a very hard and unyielding object (such as a human skull). Because of the nature of the punches thrown in boxing, and the angle with which the hands impact the face and head, the pressure exerted on the metacarpal bones is not constant, and as a result, the bone beneath the smallest finger is often the one under the most pressure, so it is the most likely to break.
What are the symptoms of a Boxer’s fracture?
The most immediate symptoms of Boxer’s fracture are pain and swelling, as well as bruising, as with any fracture. Most telling, however, is the loss of prominence of the knuckle of the little finger, which will undoubtedly accompany the injury.
How to diagnose a Boxer’s fracture.
The best way to diagnose a Boxer’s fracture is through traditional X-ray technology, as with most fractures, which will allow the doctor to ascertain the severity of the break and the angle at which the bone has been fractured.
Non-surgical treatment of a Boxer’s fracture.
It is generally preferred to treat the Boxer’s fracture non-surgically, which entails placing the affected area in a splint or cast so that the bones will knit together properly. If this is not done in a timely fashion, there is a very real risk that the bones will not join at the proper angle, and use of the finger will be permanently reduced. Even though functionality will be almost entirely restored, there may be some loss of prominence in the knuckle, but this in no way effects the use of the finger.
Surgical treatment of a Boxer’s fracture.
In very rare cases, surgery is necessary to repair the fracture. It is only recommended in cases in which the angle of the broken bone surpasses 70 degrees, and this is rare enough that it is extremely unlikely that surgery will be necessary for you. The surgery consists of the doctor placing a several pins through both parts of the bone, right at the point of fracture, to hold them in place so that the bone heals properly.
How can Dr. Knight help you with a Boxer’s fracture?
By assessing the damage using x-rays, and then treating the injury appropriately with splinting and casting (or surgery in extreme circumstances), Dr. Knight will be able to restore full functionality to your injured hand.
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