Hand fractures are the number one injury to the hand individuals suffer. Fractures occur when there is direct trauma to the hand such as when being hit by a heavy object or when the hand hits into something stable.
Hand fractures can be identified by a serious pain and swelling that will develop after impact. Fingers or the palm of the hand can appear deformed and there will be difficulty moving the fingers in a normal fashion. In order to confirm a fracture in the hand, an x-ray will be necessary to view the bones and determine the extent of the injury.
Treating a hand fracture will depend on the seriousness of the fracture and the location of the fractured bone. Many times a splint or a permanent cast will be utilized if the bone that are fractured have not moved out of their normal position. If the fractured bone has moved location, metal pins may be necessary to keep the bone in place until the fracture has healed. Pins will be put in while a person is under general anesthesia but can be removed in the doctor’s office after several weeks.
Extensive hand fractures may require more complex surgical treatment where metal screws or plates are inserted to align the fractured bones and keep them in the right place to promote proper healing.
Overall, hand fractures are typically easy to heal if given enough time and prompt treatment when the injury occurs. Some patients may end up with a bump in the area of the fracture which results when new bone forms to heal the fracture and becomes visible under the skin. Physical exercises may be necessary to regain motion in the fingers as a result of the fracture and the several week healing process.