Hand Fracture

Hand Fracture


Fracture of the bones of the hand



Many forms of trauma can cause a fracture. Hand fractures commonly occur during falls on outstretched hands, often also resulting in a fracture of a bone in the forearm known as the radius.  Boxer’s fracture of the hands is usually caused by punching something hard. There are many, many ways to break the bones of the hand.


When you fall or have the initial trauma, you may hear or feel something snap. Swelling will be present through the hand and open fractures may even show bone. If a fracture is suspected after a fall, the doctor will x-ray your hand.


The doctor or surgeon may manually manipulate the bones back into place if possible, or may fix them in place surgically with plates and screws or pins. After that, you will be put into a cast. When the cast comes off, therapy typically begins. A custom hard plastic orthotic may be fabricated to protect the joint. You begin moving the other joints, such as joints of the fingers, to keep those from becoming overly stiff while waiting for the bone to heal. Management strategies are initiated for the swelling present in the hand. The bone typically heals in 6-8 weeks.  Immobilization of the bone and surrounding joints will often cause stiffness and weakness of the soft tissue surrounding the bone. Therapeutic exercise and activity are initiated to address this loss of function.