Hand Fractures

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:

  • Bruising
  • Inability to make a fist
  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Tenderness
  • 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.

Common Treatments:

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.

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