Hand & Finger Fractures


The hand consists of 27 bones including eight bones in the wrist (carpals), five bones in the palm (metacarpals), and 14 bones in the fingers (phalanges).

Symptoms

Symptoms of hand or finger fractures include swelling, tenderness, bruising, inability to completely move the finger, and deformity of the finger.

Hand and finger fractures often are caused by direct trauma.

Evaluation & Treatment

Initial evaluation includes a medical history, physical examination, and x-rays to assess the fracture for displacement. Examination should also assess pulses, position and alignment of the fingers, skin condition, and sensation.

Treatment is based on the amount of stability and displacement of the fracture. Often times the bones may be realigned by manipulation and casting. In these cases x-rays should be done within a week to ensure stability and alignment. Typically the case is worn for 3-6 weeks. Finger splints are typically worn for about 3 weeks.

For those with an unstable fracture or displacement outpatient surgical treatment may be considered. Typically this involves placement pins, screws, or wire, to hold the fractured bones together. Rehabilitation can begin once the fracture appears healed.

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