Fractures and “breaks” mean the same thing when referring to discontinuities in bones due to trauma, falls or crushing and twisting injuries. Hand fractures can be simple fractures, where the bone segments remain stable and aligned, or displaced, unstable fractures associated with shifting or displacement of bone segments. Compound fractures of the hand involve bone fragments that actually puncture the skin.
Symptoms of a Hand Fracture
Hand fractures occur to the phalanges (small finger bones) or the metacarpals (long hand bones). Signs of a possible fracture in the hand or fingers can resemble severe sprains or “jammed” fingers. Only a hand fracture doctor in NYC can correctly diagnose a potential broken bone in the hand.
Swelling, tenderness, pain, stiffness, deformity of one or more fingers or an inability to move fingers are classic signs that you may have a hand fracture. Shortened fingers, or a finger that clearly crosses its neighboring finger when you make a half-fist, are additional symptoms of a possible hand fracture. Depressed knuckles are usually observed in a type of fracture called a “boxer’s fracture,” which involves a break in the long bone under your little finger (fifth metacarpal).
How is a Hand Fracture Diagnosed?
Your hand fracture doctor in Staten Island will perform a physical and visual examination of your hand, followed by x-rays to determine the type of fracture.
Testing Hand Fractures
For stable fractures that are not displaced, a cast or splint usually provides sufficient support to allow the hand to heal properly.
Alternately, displaced fractures may require stabilization with screws, plates pins or wires. This procedure is called an open reduction and internal fixation. Your hand fracture doctor in NYC may suggest this if you have suffered a fracture.