Hand Fracture Overview
A hand fracture or broken hand occurs when one of the hand bones is broken. Like all fractures, a hand fracture should be seen by a Carolina Orthopaedic and Neurosurgical Associates’ (CONA) hand specialist as soon as possible. Early treatment reduces symptoms and starts the bone healing process.
Symptoms & Causes
Hand fracture symptoms occur immediately after the fracture. They may include:
- Inability to make a fist
- Visible hand/finger deformities
Long-term symptom relief does not occur unless the fracture is properly treated.
Common hand fracture causes include:
- A direct blow to the hand
- Crush injuries
- Landing on a closed fist
- Punching a solid object
Hand fractures are commonly sustained during sports, combat sports and manual labor.
Nonsurgical treatment options treat most hand fractures. After a thorough evaluation, a CONA hand specialist may recommend:
- Rest, ice, compression, elevation (RICE)
- Immobilization in a cast or splint
- Pain and anti-inflammatory medications
Fractures that do not align properly may require surgical intervention. A CONA hand specialist realigns and fixates the fractured bone. A splint is placed on the hand to immobilize and protect it while the bone heals.
A fractured hand diagnosis is a straight-forward process. A CONA specialist:
- Obtains an injury report
- Examines the hand
- Orders and analyzes multiple view x-rays
The fracture is located, fracture severity is determined, and an official diagnosis is made.