The hand is made up of 27 bones that form the wrist, palm, and fingers. Fingers can easily injure from daily activities, and fractures are common injuries that can occur. Injury to the metacarpal bone that connects to the little finger are the most common fractures, accounting for about one-third of all hand fractures. The fracture may be simple or involve a shift in the position of the bone or joint. There are also more severe fractures where the bone is crushed into many pieces.
Finger fractures occur most often from high impact trauma to the hand such as with a fall, motor vehicle accident, sports activities, or a fist fight.
Signs and Symptoms
The common signs of a finger fracture include
- Swelling and bruising around the fracture site
- Pain and tenderness
- Difficulty with finger movement
- Deformity of the finger
Finger fractures can be difficult to diagnose as the symptoms are similar to those of bone dislocation or sprain. Your physician diagnoses finger fracture after examining both the injured and uninjured fingers of the hand to see if they are of the same length. A fracture can also be detected when the injured finger overlaps with the others when you make a fist. An X-ray will be ordered to locate the injured area and confirm the diagnosis of a fracture.
The treatment of a finger fracture begins with realigning the finger bone into the correct position usually under local anesthesia without cutting the skin. This is referred to as a closed reduction. A splint or plaster cast is then wrapped around the finger to support and protect it and keep it in the correct position while it heals. Your doctor may include the adjacent finger within the splint for additional support, a technique called buddy taping.
If the fracture is severe, your surgeon will recommend surgery to repair the finger bones. An incision is made over the site of the fracture. Your surgeon will set the bones in correct alignment with instrumentation such as plates, pins or screws to hold the bones in place. Sometimes the bones may be severely shattered beyond repair. In such cases, your surgeon will use a bone graft to place new bone or bone substitutes into the spaces around the fracture. Once the repair is complete, the incision is closed and the finger is placed in a cast.
You will be instructed on how to care for your cast. For the first 2-3 days you should elevate the hand to decrease swelling and apply ice over the cast for 20 minutes at a time. Do not smoke as smoking slows down or prevents bone healing. If a bone graft was inserted, smoking can cause the graft to fail. Once the cast is removed, your physical therapist will instruct you on rehabilitation exercises to reduce the stiffness and restore range of motion to the finger.
Risks and complications
The possible risks and complication associated with finger fracture surgery include:
- Nonunion (bone fails to unite)
- Malunion (Deformed union of the fractured bone)
- Damage of the surrounding nerves or blood vessels
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Houston Wrist and Hand Specialists
The physicians at Advanced Orthopedics and Sports medicine who specialize in wrist, hand, and elbow treatment are recognized globally for their expertise.
Contact us today to Schedule an Appointment or call us at 281-955-2650 to learn more about our Wrist and Hand Treatment options.
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I had been in so much pain with my back for years. It got so bad that I knew I had to do something. I went to Dr Mohr for help. I was so afraid to have spine surgery as I had heard so many horror stories. He and his staff were very informative. I was amazed at the new technology in spinal surgery. December 8, 2016 I had rods and pins put in my back. I am so happy I did now. I am healing really fast and the pain is going away as my body heals. Thank you Dr Mohr for you expertise and sensitive nature. You were understanding about my fear and helped assure me so I could receive the help I needed. You are an excellent Doctor.
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I made an appointment to see Dr. Patel on the recommendation of Dr. Tanous following knee replacement and several months of continued pain. Dr. Patel explained the procedure to me and explained how we would proceed. The first procedure was to determine if I would be a good candidate for the second procedure. After the first procedure my pain was anywhere from 0 and 5. Dr. Patel explained to me at follow-up that I was not a good candidate for the second procedure due to my pain level being above the 0 to 3 level. After talking for a while I said “any relief would be better than the pain I had been having.” With this it was agreed that I would have the second procedure. It has now been 6 days since the procedure and I am without any pain.
I realize this is only a few days of not being able to sleep, with a pillow between my knee or under my leg at night. I know the pain may come back at anytime but until then it has been well worthwhile. I hope it will last 6 months, if not, I will have the procedure again after 6 months.
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Outstanding Physicians. I’ve had two surgeries here, one on my foot with Dr. Bacon, and an extensive back surgery with Dr. Cubbage. I’m new to the area and my wife found me these surgeons. I have to say that each surgery I’ve had with these physicians have had excellent results. I was very pleased with my foot surgery and decided to see Dr. Cubbage for my back. Other surgeons I’ve seen regarding my back only gave me a 50/50 success rate. I have to say, the low back surgery with Dr. Cubbage was like a miracle. Right away, I noticed a difference and I’ve continued to improve rapidly. I’m almost eight weeks out and I haven’t felt this good in years. I’d like to thank Dr. Stacy Bacon for my foot surgery and Dr. Matthew Cubbage for my low back surgery. Without these drastic results, I’d not be walking today. Thank you all very much and I highly recommend your services. God bless you all.
Dr. David R. Mack replaced my right hip in June 2009, and my left in October 2010. I am already able to go places and do things on my own again. His excellent staff are very caring and helpful throughout the entire process, including recovery. The out-patient therapy is the best. I am walking very well now and am very pleased to have my life back. Thank you so much Dr. Mack and your great staff! Sincerely,
Dr. Bacon, I can never thank you enough for what you have done for me and for my daughter, Melia. In 2011, on the first anniversary of my surgery, my wife and I walked for two hours on Copacabana beach in Rio. I also completed a four hour nature walk over rough terrain in The Falklands and hiked to del Fin del Terre at the tip of South America. You are truly a great doctor, and I thank God every day for you and for Dr. Fogarty who recommended you for Melia’s surgery.
When I started, I couldn’t put any weight on my right leg and now I can do virtually anything. While I hope to not need future therapy, this is without a doubt the place I will return to in the future.
It has been eight weeks since my partial knee replacement and now I realized just how much I was missing. Having it done has made such a difference to my life. For a start my leg is now straight and my knees actually touch! I have started walking and even plan to ride my bike. The most thrilling part is that I am playing and dancing with my grandchildren again.