How Do I Know If I Have Broken My Ankle – A broken arm can be caused by a fall, crush or twist injury, or direct contact with sports.
In most cases, hand fractures heal well with non-surgical treatment. Depending on the type and location of the fracture, this may include wearing a cast, splint, or bandage for a period of time. For more severe fractures or false fractures, surgery may be needed to reattach the broken pieces of bone and hold them in place until they heal.
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The most common fracture of the hand is a fracture of the fifth metacarpal bone, the bone in the hand that supports the little finger. This is commonly called a “boxer’s fracture” and involves the “neck” of bone near the joint. A boxer’s fracture often occurs as a result of hitting or hitting a hard object while punching. A fall, car accident or other injuries can also cause it.
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Bones of the hand. A fracture can be in the middle or at the end of the bone, near the joint.
Adapted from JF Sarwark, ed: Essentials of Musculoskeletal Care, ed 4. Rosemont, IL, American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, 2010.
In the case of a boxer’s fracture, the patient’s joint may appear sunken or compressed. It is caused by displacement or angulation of the end or “head” of the metacarpal bone.
X-ray of a “boxer’s fracture” below the fifth bone. This common fracture of the hand may appear notched or angled at the joint of the affected finger.
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Johnson TR, Steinbeck LS (eds): Fundamentals of Musculoskeletal Imaging. Rosemont, IL American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, 2004, p. 347.
The doctor will ask about your symptoms and carefully examine your fingers and hands. During the exam they can find:
Typically, your doctor will evaluate the tendons in your hand to make sure they are working properly and check for instability in the joint(s) near the fracture.
(Left) This patient’s ring finger fracture is not easily visible when the arm is fully extended. (Right) When he makes a half punch, the fracture is more pronounced. The broken ring finger covers the pinky on the side.
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Reproduced and adapted from Lehman TP: Hand Fractures: Current Concepts. Online Journal of Orthopedic Education 2012; 10(3). Accessed June 2017.
X-rays provide images of dense structures such as bone. Your doctor may order one or more X-rays to help determine the location and extent of the fracture.
(Left) Kozin SH, Thoder JJ, Lieberman G: Operative treatment of metacarpal and phalangeal shaft fractures. J Am Acad Orthop Surg 2000;8:111-121.(Right) Johnson TR, Steinbeck LS (eds): Fundamentals of Musculoskeletal Imaging. Rosemont, IL American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, 2004, p. 347.
If the fracture does not return to its proper position, the doctor can often fix it by gently setting the bone fragment back without cutting it. This process is called closed reduction. A cast, splint, or brace may be used to keep the bones in a comfortable position while they heal. A cast can be stretched from the fingertips to the elbow to hold the bones in place.
Ankle Fractures Broken Ankle
Your doctor may order another set of X-rays in about 1-2 weeks. This is done to ensure that the bones heal properly.
Depending on the location and stability of the fracture, you may need to wear a cast for 3 to 6 weeks. Some types of fractures near the injured toe can be protected by wearing a removable splint or “bandaging” the injured toe. The uninjured toe acts as a “mobile splint” to support the injured toe.
Some arm fractures require surgery to realign and stabilize the broken pieces. Open fractures often require surgery where pieces of bone break through the skin.
Your doctor may need to cut the piece of bone back into shape. Small metal devices such as wires, screws, pins, staples, and plates may be used to hold broken bone fragments in place.
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(Left) Metacarpal fracture of the ring finger on X-ray. (Right) Here the fracture is repaired with plates and screws.
Kozin SH, Thoder JJ, Lieberman G: Operative treatment of metacarpal and phalangeal shaft fractures. J Am Acad Orthop Surg 2000;8:111-121.
After surgery, you may need to wear a splint or cast for a period of time to protect the fracture. If the bone position changes during healing, your finger may lose some function. Your doctor will talk to you about when it’s safe to start range-of-motion exercises and resume your normal activities after surgery.
(Left) Fractures of two finger phalanges on X-ray. (Right) This x-ray shows the fracture being repaired with screws.
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Kozin SH, Thoder JJ, Lieberman G: Operative treatment of metacarpal and phalangeal shaft fractures. J Am Acad Orthop Surg 2000; 8:111–121.
Because some fractures require prolonged immobilization in a cast or splint, your hands and fingers may become stiff. Your doctor or, in some cases, an occupational therapist, physical therapist, or hand therapist may recommend specific exercises to reduce stiffness and improve function.
After fracture treatment, some patients may experience stiffness or numbness (loss of motion) in the arm, even after carefully following treatment instructions. If this happens, your doctor may recommend a surgical procedure to help restore the movement and/or function of your finger. Commonly used procedures include:
Typically, these procedures are used after the fracture has healed and there is no evidence of progression or improvement in function of the affected finger. Your doctor will discuss whether you need an additional procedure and, if so, how it will affect your recovery.
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However, some fractures are more difficult than others and can lead to worse outcomes. It is important to seek medical attention for a broken arm as soon as possible for the best possible outcome. If treatment is delayed, hand fractures are difficult to care for and outcomes are not as good as if treated on time.
AAOS does not endorse any treatments, procedures, products or physicians referred to herein. This information is provided as an educational service and is not intended to serve as medical advice. Anyone seeking specific orthopedic advice or care should contact their orthopedic surgeon or find one in your area through the AAOS Find an Orthopedist program on this website. Did you know that each hand has 14 finger bones? Our fingers need a lot of bones to do the wonderful things they do for us every day. Our fingers are also very sensitive to injury. Whether we’re catching something or trying to fall, our hands are often our first line of defense. But we take a more lenient approach to finger injuries than to other bone fractures. Sometimes patients think that the doctor can’t do much. But if your broken toe is left untreated, it can cause problems down the road.
Our hands and fingers are always front and center. We use it while exercising, playing our favorite games or completing daily activities. We use our fingers when working with tools or catching a ball. Some common causes of broken fingers include sports injuries, injuries at work, slamming hands on house or car doors, or catching ourselves when we fall. Finger fractures are common in children and young adults, as they are particularly involved in sports and physical activity.
Inability to move a finger is one of the main warning signs of a possible fracture. Other common symptoms of a finger fracture include:
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If you break a finger, there are different levels of severity that determine what approach your doctor decides to take. If you have a stable, non-displaced fracture, it means that you have cracks in the bone, but the bones are still in the right place. A stable fracture is the easiest type of fracture to fix and usually requires immobilization and immobilization.
Fractures or ruptures of the spiral can be more complex and problematic. A spiral fracture occurs when a bone breaks in a twisting motion. It often splits in two, the edges no longer aligning. Other serious breaks include joint dislocations and damage to the ligaments around the bones. Any of these serious breaks may require surgery.
Another common toe injury is a pinky toe fracture, sometimes called a boxer’s fracture. A boxer’s fracture is actually an injury to the metacarpal bone of the hand below the joint of the pinky finger. According to a 2019 article in the medical journal StatePearls, it accounts for about 10 percent of hand injuries and is especially common among boys and young men ages 10 to 29.
Some of us may remember the old duct tape and clay sticks from childhood. Yes, some broken fingers are unnecessary
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