Synergy Health Partners

Hand Fractures


Hand fractures involve a break in one or more of the bones in the hand. These can include fractures of the phalanges (finger bones) and the metacarpals (bones of the palm). Hand fractures are common injuries that can result from falls, direct blows, or accidents.


Hand fractures can occur from various causes, including:

  • Trauma: Direct impact or blow to the hand, often from sports, falls, or fights.
  • Crush Injuries: Hand caught in machinery or heavy objects falling on the hand.
  • Falls: Falling onto an outstretched hand.
  • Twisting Injuries: Forceful twisting motions that exceed the bone’s strength.


Symptoms of a hand fracture can vary depending on the severity and location of the break, but common signs include:

  • Pain: Immediate, sharp pain at the site of the fracture.
  • Swelling and Bruising: Swelling and discoloration around the injured area.
  • Deformity: Visible deformity or abnormal position of the finger or hand.
  • Tenderness: Pain when touching or moving the affected area.
  • Difficulty Moving: Limited range of motion or inability to move the fingers or hand.
  • Numbness: Tingling or numbness if nerves are affected.

Types of Hand Fractures

Hand fractures can be classified into several types based on their location and characteristics:

  1. Phalangeal Fractures:

    • Distal Phalanx: Fractures near the fingertip.
    • Middle Phalanx: Fractures in the middle segment of the finger.
    • Proximal Phalanx: Fractures near the base of the finger.
  2. Metacarpal Fractures:

    • Boxer’s Fracture: A fracture of the 5th metacarpal (pinky finger) typically resulting from punching.
    • Shaft Fracture: A break along the length of a metacarpal bone.
    • Base Fracture: A fracture near the wrist end of the metacarpal.
    • Neck Fracture: A break just below the head of the metacarpal.


Diagnosis of a hand fracture involves a combination of clinical evaluation and imaging studies:

  • Medical History and Physical Examination: Assessment of symptoms, history of the injury, and physical examination to identify signs of fracture.
  • X-rays: Primary imaging technique to confirm the fracture and determine its location and severity.
  • CT Scan or MRI: May be used for complex fractures or to evaluate associated soft tissue injuries.


Treatment for hand fractures depends on the type and severity of the fracture and may include:

  • Non-Surgical Treatment:

    • Immobilization: Using a splint, cast, or brace to keep the hand in a stable position and allow the bone to heal.
    • Reduction: Manipulating the bone back into place if it is displaced.
    • Pain Management: Over-the-counter pain relievers or prescribed medications to manage pain and inflammation.
    • Follow-Up Care: Regular check-ups to monitor healing and ensure proper alignment.
  • Surgical Treatment:

    • Surgery may be necessary for fractures that are severely displaced, unstable, or involve joint surfaces. Surgical options include:
      • Internal Fixation: Using pins, screws, plates, or rods to stabilize the bone.
      • External Fixation: Using an external frame to hold the bones in the correct position during healing.
      • Bone Grafting: In cases where there is significant bone loss or nonunion (failure to heal), bone grafting may be performed to stimulate healing.


Rehabilitation is crucial for regaining full function after a hand fracture:

  • Physical Therapy: Exercises to restore strength, flexibility, and range of motion.
  • Occupational Therapy: Techniques to improve hand function and dexterity for daily activities.


The prognosis for hand fractures is generally good, especially with timely and appropriate treatment. Most individuals can expect to regain full function and strength, although recovery time can vary based on the severity of the fracture and adherence to rehabilitation protocols.


Preventing hand fractures involves taking measures to protect the hands from injury:

  • Protective Gear: Wearing appropriate protective equipment during sports and high-risk activities.
  • Safe Practices: Using safe techniques and caution when performing tasks that pose a risk of hand injury.
  • Strengthening Exercises: Performing exercises to strengthen the hand and wrist muscles, improving overall resilience to injury.