If you suffer from severe hand pain due to a fracture, please Schedule an appointment with one of our orthopedic specialists as soon as possible.
What is a Boxer’s Fracture?
Named due to a high occurrence among boxers and martial artists, a boxer’s fracture involves a break of the 5th metacarpal bone in the hand. Patients with conditions such as Osteoporosis have a higher risk of all types of bone fracture, due to decreased bone density.
Boxer fractures typically occur when a significant force is applied to the hand, such as when punching a hard object or landing a punch incorrectly. The impact can cause the metacarpal bone to break, usually in the neck region, which is the narrow area just below the knuckle joint. It can also occur when punching an object at a high speed. This is why the term “boxer fracture” originated from the injury being frequently observed in individuals who throw punches with a closed fist, and fairly fast such as boxers.
Symptoms Of Boxer’s Fractures
Boxer’s fracture typically results from a direct impact or excessive force applied to the knuckle or hand. The fracture is typically characterized by the following:
- Pain: Immediate pain at the site of the fracture, which may worsen with movement or pressure.
- Swelling: Swelling and tenderness around the knuckle or the back of the hand.
- Deformity: The affected finger may appear crooked or misaligned, and there may be a visible indentation or depression at the fracture site.
- Limited Range of Motion: Difficulty moving the finger or gripping objects due to pain and swelling.
- Bruising: Discoloration or bruising around the affected area, which may develop in the hours or days following the injury.
Treatment For Boxer’s Fractures
If you suspect a boxer’s fracture, it is important to seek medical attention for proper diagnosis and treatment. Treatment options for a boxer’s fracture may include:
- Immobilization: A splint, cast, or buddy taping may be applied to keep the finger immobilized and aligned while the fracture heals.
- Pain Management: Over-the-counter pain medications or prescribed pain relievers may be recommended to manage discomfort.
- Reduction: In some cases, the doctor may need to manipulate the broken bone fragments back into alignment through a procedure called closed reduction.
- Rehabilitation: Once the fracture has started to heal, rehabilitation exercises and physical therapy may be prescribed to restore the range of motion, strength, and function of the hand and finger.
- Surgery: In severe or unstable fractures, surgery may be necessary to realign and stabilize the bone using pins, screws, or plates.
Regular follow-up appointments with a healthcare professional are essential to monitor the healing progress and ensure appropriate care. In some cases, rehabilitation exercises or physical therapy may be recommended to restore strength, flexibility, and function to the hand and finger.
Surgical intervention may be required in severe cases, where the bones are significantly displaced or unstable. The surgical procedure aims to realign the fractured bones using wires, pins, or plates to provide stability during the healing process.