Falls onto an outstretched hand are a common event, they can happen fast, and when we least expect it. Sometimes fractures involving the bones of the hand or wrist result. If you’ve been diagnosed with a hand or wrist fracture (break), we are happy to see you and discuss treatment options. While some broken bones of the hand and wrist are managed surgically, many heal well without surgery.
Hand and wrist Fractures
Fractures (broken bones) of the hand and fingers are the most common fractures. Sometimes these occur from direct trauma to the bone or growth plate or a sports injury where the finger is bent forcefully. While finger fracturs are more common in children, metacarpal (hand) fractures are more common in adults.
Details of how the injury occurred are important for the sports injury doctor to know so that the pattern of injury can be understood. For example, a fall on an outstretched hand (FOOSH) injury is commonly associated with a wrist fracture. FOOSH injuries are commonly associated with a trip or slip injury and result in swelling and pain.
With an early and accurate diagnosis, the duration of symptoms and return to function can be optimized. Some hand and finger injuries benefit from early motion and should not be immobilized longer that absolutely necessary. There are many ways to immobilize these injuries from casting to of the shelf braces and splints to customized and heat molded splinting.
It is important for the sports medicine specialist to know how the injury happened, when and where it happened, hand dominance, and what type of work and sports you do. After carefully listening to you and examining the injured area, it may be important to obtain x-rays and discuss the best options for healing. While some fractures of the hand and wrist are managed surgically, many heal well without surgery.