What is a Hand Fracture?

The 27 bones of the hand serve as its framework, supporting the muscles that make the fingers and wrist move. When one of these bones is broken or fractured, it can be hard for one to use his/her hand, wrist, and fingers.

There are different causes of a hand fracture. The most common causes are workplace injuries such as improper use of tools. Bones in the hand can also get broken as a result of falls, crush injuries, and sports injuries.

Symptoms of a Hand Fracture

The signs and symptoms of a broken hand include swelling, bruising, pain, deformity, shortened finger, depressed knuckle, reduced range of motion of the fingers, and inability to grasp.

Diagnosing a Hand Fracture

The hands are one of the most important parts of the body and are essential for certain functions. Hence, when a hand fracture is suspected, medical help should be sought immediately.

A physical examination is needed to diagnose a hand fracture. During the physical exam, the doctor will check the position of the fingers and the condition of the skin. The range of motion of the fingers, as well as their sensation, will also be assessed.

In most cases, x-rays will be ordered to confirm the diagnosis as well as to determine the location and extent of the fracture.

How It Is Treated

There are nonsurgical and surgical methods of treating a hand fracture.

Nonsurgical Treatment

Most of the time, the broken bones can be realigned without the need for surgery. This can be done with the use of a cast, splint, or fracture-brace. Any of these can be used to immobilize the site while it’s healing.

While the cast, splint, or fracture-brace is worn, x-rays of the injured site will be taken a week later to make sure that it is healing well.

Surgical Treatment

In some cases, surgery is needed to realign the fractured bones. This is usually the case of hand fractures that result from a crushing injury.

The surgical treatment for a hand fracture usually involves the use of wires, screws, or plates to hold the broken bones in place.