A hand fracture is a break in one of the bones in the hand.  These  include the small bones of the fingers or thumb (phalanges) and the long bones within the palm (metacarpals).A broken hand can be caused by a fall, crush injury, twisting injury, or through direct contact in sports.

Symptoms

How do I know if my hand is fractured?

A broken hand might cause these signs and symptoms:

  • Pain that might worsen when gripping, squeezing or moving your hand
  • Swelling
  • Tenderness
  • Bruising
  • Obvious deformity, such as a crooked or deviated finger
  • The injured finger may cross over its neighbor (scissoring) when making a fist
  • Stiffness or inability to move your fingers or thumb
  • Numbness in your hand or fingers

After a fracture, there is usually pain and swelling/bruising around the injured area. Depending on the type of fracture, movement of the fingers is usually possible but may be limited by pain and swelling. There may also be deformity present e.g. fingers crossing over when bending or deviating away from the other bones.

Treatment

If you have sustained a trauma to your hand and suspect there may be fracture, it is important to attend your GP for an x-ray and then see a hand therapist for follow up treatment. If you have a fracture a hand therapist can fabricate a custom-made orthosis for your hand/finger/thumb. This immobilises the fracture to allow for healing in order to regain full use of your hand.

In many cases, a hand fracture will heal well with nonsurgical treatment. Depending on the type and location of the fracture, this may include wearing a cast, splint or buddy straps for a period of time. For more serious fractures or for fractures that do not line up properly, surgery may be required to realign the broken pieces of bone and keep them in place until they heal.

Types of Hand Fractures

One of the most common hand fractures is a boxer’s fracture, in which the patient’s knuckle may look sunken in or depressed. This is caused by the displacement or angulation of the end, or “head,” of the metacarpal bone.

Fracture

Melbourne Hand Therapy Can Help You

All of our therapists are experts in the management of hand fractures. We will fabricate a brace to support the fracture in anatomical alignment assisting it heal. Once healed we will progress to rehabilitation including exercises and strengthening. We are able to make protective splints to assist you in returning to contact sports. If you do require surgery we work closely with and can recommend a surgeon quickly.

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