Hand Fractures

What are Hand Fractures?

The hand is one of the most delicate and finely calibrated parts of the human body, and as a result of this, is highly susceptible and sensitive to injury. The complex networks of nerves, blood vessels, tendons and muscles are regularly assaulted with daily wear and tear, but it is the bones that anchor all of these systems in place, providing a foundation for the hand. When you experience hand trauma, and one or more of these bones is broken, it can have disastrous consequences for your hand unless the fractures are treated immediately and by a skilled, experienced physician.

What causes Hand Fractures?

Fractures to the hand can come from many causes, and as delicate as the bones are, it doesn’t take much to break them. Fractures of the hand can range from severe, crushing trauma that literally splinters the bone within the skin, to simple fractures to the long bones of the finger that are easily fixable with pins or screws, or often just a cast. Commonly, fractures are sustained as the result of work-based trauma, but this can range from a factory worker dropping a box on his hand, to a boxer fracturing his metacarpal bones during a bout. Because the hand is so important to everything that we do everyday, just about anyone can suffer one.

What are symptoms of Hand Fractures?

Symptoms of hand fractures vary widely with the severity of the break and the type of trauma that precipitated it, but generally speaking, fractures are indicated by pain, swelling, bruising, the inability to bend or move a finger, the shortening of a finger, or abnormal finger position while making a fist. Certain symptoms, such as a depressed knuckle, are indicators for a specific type of fracture (in this case, a Boxer’s fracture), and can aid the doctor in determining the severity of your injury. Of course, in some cases, the fracture is so severe that the bone breaks the skin, in which case it is immediately apparent, and must be tended to as soon as possible to avoid infection and complications during the healing process.

How to diagnose Hand Fractures

To diagnose a fracture, it is important that you give the doctor as detailed a history as possible so that he can accurately assess the extent of your injury, and determine a possible cause of the fracture. A physical examination will allow the doctor to feel for the injury and by doing so further eliminate possibilities and come closer to a diagnosis. One of the most important tools a doctor has to treat fractures are X-rays, CT scans and MRI scans, which provide a detailed picture of the interior of the hand, and show exactly where in the bones the fractures are, so that he can properly go about treating them.

Non-surgical treatment of Hand Fractures

In many cases,  the fracture is properly aligned or it is possible for the doctor to move the bones back into place without surgery, so that they can simply be placed in a cast or a splint, and will heal normally that way. These casts and splints can very in size and complexity, depending on which bones have been broken, how severely, and how long the cast has to stay on. In most cases, the cast must be worn anywhere from four to six weeks, and it is important to engage in regular therapy once it is removed, to restore mobility and function to the hand.

Surgical treatment of Hand Fractures

If the damage to a bone in the hand is too great to be repaired by realignment and splinting, then it may be necessary for the doctor to perform surgery on the break. As these types of injuries are fairly common, there are a wide variety of procedures and tools that can be used in order to restructure the hand. Most common, by far, are pins, which are used to hold the bone in place as it knits back together. Pins vary as well, and some must be removed, some can be left in place, and some are actually made of a material that allows them to meld into the bone over time, unlike traditional metal pins. In some cases plates and screws are placed. As with non-surgical treatment, it is absolutely imperative that you engage in regular therapy after the bone has healed, or the hand will never return to its full functionality.

How can Dr. Knight help you with Hand Fractures?

Fractures to the hand can be traumatic and frightening injuries, which may have lasting effects to the mobility and function of the hand, so it important that you seek out the best care possible when having one treated. In his years of practice, Dr. Knight has trained extensively on the repair of fractures, and has treated an untold number of them, so that his experience lends him great skill and understanding of the problems that can arise as a result of fractures. If you want to be treated quickly, efficiently, and with skill, then Dr. Knight is the doctor for you.

HandAndWristInstitute.com does not offer medical advice. The information presented here is offered for informational purposes only. Read Disclaimer