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Boxer’s fracture: treatment and rehabilitation

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

It is known as a boxer’s fracture to break the fifth metacarpal , that is, the fifth bone of the hand, which is commonly injured when we hit something hard with a closed fist and receive the impact on the knuckles, and it is for this reason that this The condition is called a boxer’s fracture. Although this injury is associated with fights, it is also frequent in those people who, in order to discharge bad temper or anger, usually hit a fixed and resistant object, such as a wall.

There are two types of fractures: partial or total. Depending on the type of injury caused by the impact on the knuckles, the most appropriate treatment will be decided so that the bone heals correctly and the mobility of the hand and fingers is not compromised in any way. This injury can be very painful and in some cases leaves sequelae. Find out everything you need to know about boxer’s fracture: treatment and rehabilitation in this FastlyHealarticle.

The metacarpal bones

The hand has five metacarpal bones , one for each finger, and the main function of these is to connect the bones of the fingers with those of the wrist to generate full mobility of the hand. To identify the metacarpal bones, it is enough to close the hand into a fist, the base of these bones is responsible for forming the knuckles. Due to the shape of the fist, the boxer’s fracture is much more common in the little finger, which is also one of the weakest.

The fracture of the fifth metacarpal is very common, in fact account for 20% of fractures or injuries that occur on the hands. When this fracture occurs, there is a risk of an open wound that exposes the inside of the hand and makes the bones visible. In these cases, it is very important to disinfect and protect the wound so that it is not in contact with any type of bacteria or germs that can cause an infection. Similarly, when a fracture of the fifth bone of the hand occurs, it is very important to avoid any type of movement, since mobility can worsen the degree of the fracture.

Treatment of boxer’s fracture

The first thing to do is check that the pain and inflammation around the hand is due to a fracture of the fifth metacarpal. To do this, it is likely that once in the emergency center, the trauma specialist will request an X-ray or CT scan of the hand , where they will obtain an image of the composition and fracture of the bones and can determine how severe the injury is and how you should treat it.

Partial fracture

Once any of the diagnostic tests have been performed, it will be necessary to administer medication to calm the pain and reduce inflammation of the wound. Treatment will depend on the type of fracture. In the case of a partial fracture , care consists of immobilizing the bone and joints near the injury through a splint performed on the little and ring fingers, which also compromises the mobility of the wrist.

The type of splint used to treat a boxer’s fracture can vary and this is because as this area is so weak and delicate, the fracture can occur in multiple ways and involve different areas, for this reason two people with fifth metacarpal fracture received splinting and totally different treatment. One of the factors that varies in the treatment of this fracture is the degree of the splint, since there is no study that establishes an exact degree that is effective to recover all types of fractures that may occur in the fifth bone of the hand. Therefore, depending on the injury, the degree of immobilization also varies. In some cases, a cast is placed in place of the splint.

In general, recovery from a boxer’s fracture may suggest a 40-day immobilization. After that time, the X-ray should be repeated to check the state of the bone and, if everything is perfectly sealed, treatment with physiotherapy should be started to rehabilitate the area and regain mobility of the fingers.

Total fracture

When the boxer’s fracture is total , many times the wound is also open. In these cases, it is said that the fracture is displaced and it is necessary to repair the injury through hand surgery to align the fracture. When this happens, the result is very satisfactory and it is very unlikely that there will be any kind of sequelae after the operation.

A boxer’s fracture, like any bone injury, causes a lot of pain, swelling, and redness or bruising in the area. For this reason, the doctor will prescribe at least a week of treatment based on anti-inflammatories and analgesics for pain. It is important to follow the doctor’s instructions to the letter so that the recovery is complete and there are no sequelae.

Rehabilitation of boxer’s fracture

After the splint or cast is removed, it is necessary for the person to undergo at least three weeks of physical therapy so that through certain exercises indicated by the physiotherapist, depending on the degree of mobility of the fingers, the ability to move is increased. thereof.

In general, during boxer’s fracture rehabilitation, heat and cold are also applied to treat the pain of the injury and prepare the fingers to do the exercises more easily and without feeling as much pain during stretches. Electricity and massage may also be applied to the area, which stimulates the nervous response and also relaxes the tendons and parts of the finger to facilitate movement.

Why do exercises for movement? The immobilization of the fingers for a long time causes muscle stiffness, that is, the muscles, bones, tendons and nerves were so long in a position that it is practically impossible to close the fingers, lower them, raise them or simply use them. For this reason, it is necessary to perform physiotherapy exercises that stimulate the stretching of the fingers and press down and up so that, little by little, total mobility is gradually recovered.

During physical therapy for hand fracture , the most common is to perform stretching movements of the fingers and also to try to begin to manipulate objects such as rubber bands, balls or small balls that stimulate the joint.

Sequelae and possible complications of boxer’s fracture

Any fracture that originates in the hand is a very delicate injury that can put the mobility of any part of the limb at risk. To prevent this from happening, it is necessary to follow all the medical indications to the letter, keep the established rest, take the medications, do not move the hand, comply with the rehabilitation and do the exercises ordered by the physiotherapist at home. Otherwise, the sequelae or complications of boxer’s fracture are likely to be experienced :

  • Pain and chills at the fracture site when temperatures drop.
  • Difficulty fully moving the hand.
  • Difficulty moving the wrist correctly.
  • Muscle pain throughout life.
  • Loss of mobility of the fingers.
  • Spasms or jumping when raising and lowering the fingers.
  • Inability to fully close the hand.
  • Difficulty grasping objects, driving, eating, etc.

Home care for boxer bill

  • It may take up to two weeks for the swelling to go away. To reduce inflammation, you can apply an ice pack or ice wrapped in a towel. It is also advisable to keep the hand elevated above the level of the heart.
  • The doctor may have given orders to remove the splint or splint on some occasions such as when taking a shower. If so, it is important to follow the instructions.
  • The wound should be protected when taking a shower. Ideally, wrap your hand in a plastic bag.
  • The consumption of painkillers and painkillers should not be abused.

This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Boxer’s fracture: treatment and rehabilitation , we recommend that you enter our Bones, Joints and Muscles category .

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