A broken hand is one in which one or more of the hand’s bones have broken or cracked. Falling or receiving direct strikes can result in this injury. Hand bones can break in car accidents, sometimes in multiple pieces, and frequently need surgery to be repaired.
If you play contact sports like football or hockey, or if you have a medical condition that causes your bones to thin out and become more brittle, you may be more likely to break your hand (osteoporosis).
A broken hand needs to be treated as quickly as possible. Otherwise, it’s possible that the bones won’t heal properly, which could make it difficult for you to perform daily tasks like writing or buttoning a shirt. Early intervention will also lessen discomfort and stiffness.
Anatomy of your hand
Bone in hand has a complex structure, let’s understand it.
The little bones known as phalanges are what give the thumb and fingers their shape. The thumb has two phalanges, while each digit has three.
The five bones in the hand’s palm are called metacarpals. The fingers are joined to the hand and wrist via the metacarpals.
A fracture of the fifth metacarpal, the hand bone that supports the little finger, is the most frequent type of hand fracture. This type of fracture, sometimes known as a “boxer’s fracture,” affects the “neck” of the bone, which is close to the knuckle joint. The most frequent way to fracture a bone in a boxer’s hand is to punch or strike a hard object with your hand closed in a fist. Additionally, a fall, car accident, or other trauma may be the culprit.
Common causes of hand fractures
Hand fractures frequently result from falls, crush-type accidents, twisting injuries, or other hand impacts. When you reach your hands out to stop your fall, you risk suffering many injuries. The fingers, hand, and wrist may break as a result. Scaphoid fractures are a typical fall-related fracture.
Fractures from falls and twists occur frequently in sports. A boxer’s fracture is another prevalent type of fracture. The fifth knuckle of the hand is typically broken when someone strikes something with a closed fist, resulting in the boxer’s fracture.
Hand fractures caused by work are also prevalent, particularly while using tools, machinery, and other equipment that could crush the hand.
Symptoms and signs of hand fracture
People frequently ponder whether their hand has broken or if it is merely sprained and will heal on its own.
It will be easier for you to decide whether you require medical assistance if you are aware of the symptoms and indicators of hand fractures. However, an x-ray is the only reliable technique to determine whether your hand is fractured.
Some of the most common symptoms of hand fractures include:
- Pain and tenderness
- Pain that becomes worse when gripping or moving
- Numbness in fingers
- Inability to move finger(s)
- Deformities (fingers bent at wrong angles, etc.)
It’s usually a good idea to get your hand checked out if you suspect that it might be broken. Of course, it might just be a sprain. However, if a fracture is left untreated, it could eventually result in other issues.
Diagnosis & treatment of hand fracture
Images of dense things, like bone, are produced by X-rays. To determine the position and severity of the fracture, your doctor could request one or more X-rays.
There may be spaces between the bone fragments or they may overlap if the shattered ends of the bone are out of alignment. Your doctor will need to do a reduction, or moving the components back into place. Before this operation, you could need a local or general anesthetic depending on how much pain and swelling you are experiencing.
Whatever your chosen course of action, it’s crucial to keep your fingers moving frequently while the fracture heals to prevent them from stiffening. Consult your doctor for advice on how to relocate them safely.
Types of treatment for hand fracture
Your doctor may be able to gently move the bone fragments back into place without requiring an incision if a fracture does not line up in an appropriate position. A closed reduction is the name given to this process. For the duration of the healing process, the bones may be supported by a cast, splint, or brace. To adequately support the bones, the cast may reach from your fingertips almost to your elbow.
A second round of X-rays will likely be requested by your doctor one to two weeks later. This is carried out to make sure that the bones recover correctly.
You might need to wear the cast for three to six weeks, depending on the location and stability of the fracture. Some fracture types can be protected by donning a detachable splint or by being “buddy strapped” to the adjacent healthy finger. As a “moving splint,” the healthy finger supports the wounded finger.
After three weeks, you can typically start doing light hand exercises.
Surgery may be necessary to realign and stabilize the fracture fragments in some hand fractures. For open fractures, when bone fragments have pierced the skin, surgery is frequently required.
To help realign the broken pieces of bone, your doctor might need to create an incision. The broken bits of bone may be secured in place using small metal objects like wires, screws, pins, staples, and plates.
You might need to put on a cast or splint for a while after surgery to keep the fracture from spreading. Your finger may no longer operate fully if the bone shifts during the healing process. When it is safe to start range-of-motion exercises and to resume your regular activities after surgery, your doctor will discuss with you.
Recovery after surgery
After surgery, patients are taught how to elevate the injured limb and work on their range of motion in the unaffected digits. Most patients have their sutures removed at two weeks, and some are then given removable braces to wear. Most patients will have significantly healed their fracture by six weeks following surgery, at which point they can start weaning themselves off of the splint. You can work on your range of motion on your own or with a hand surgeon’s assistance. Most patients should be able to make adequate use of their wrist and hand thanks to the emphasis placed on hand, wrist, and arm strengthening—especially with persistent focus on motion and strength.
The outcomes for patients have significantly improved with modern fracture therapy. However, patients should still anticipate some stiffness with any fracture treatment, and occasionally, extra surgery may be necessary. Usually, it takes 3–6 months for an injured person to return to sports. After an accident, patients report continued improvement for up to a year.
Orthopedic implants used in hand fracture
The robust and long-lasting materials titanium and stainless steel are used to create the implants used for internal fixation. These implants can also be created from cobalt and chrome if a joint needs to be replaced rather than simply repaired. Implants rarely result in an allergic reaction and are compatible with the body.
In a nutshell
As an Orthopedic Implants Manufacturer & Exporter Zealmax Ortho offers an exclusive range of Orthopedic Implants and Instruments. High-quality components used in the construction of our orthopedic implants are bought from approved market vendors. These have received a lot of praise from our customers for their qualities of dependability, strength, user-friendliness, and ease of cleaning.