Several small bones together make up the supporting framework of the hand. These are the small finger bones, the phalanges, and the long bones, the metacarpals. Fracture in any of these bones is termed as a hand fracture. Various Type of Locking orthopedic implants are used for hand fracture surgery.
More often Hand fractures are caused by an object either fall on the hand or the hand strikes an object occurs causing direct trauma to the hand. A twisting injury or a fall can also lead to a Hand fracture.
Some of the common indications of a hand fracture include:
- A palpable deformity e.g. a shortened finger or a depressed knuckle
- Difficulty in moving the fingers
- A finger that crosses over the one next to it when one tries to make a fist.
The doctor normally examines Hand for deformity, or problem in mobility, and lack of strength. A physical examination would be followed by x-ray to determine if a bone is broken. If a fracture is seen in one of the bones of the hand, the decision for appropriate treatment for the injury is to be made.
At times, a fracture may not be apparent on an x-ray but may be suspected based on symptoms or the way the injury has happened. In such cases, other tests including CT scans and MRIs may be conducted to show more subtle injury. Another way to evaluate is to treat as a fracture has occurred, and then re-x-ray the hand in one to two weeks. Typically, by that time, some healing has occurred, and the fracture that was not apparent should become more visible.
Treatments options for Hand Fractures
Possible options include:
Cast and Splints: If the fracture is not displaced (meaning it is in proper position) a cast or splint will most likely enough for the treatment of the fracture. Furthermore, there are some types of hand fractures that do not necessarily need to be in a perfect position in order to heal properly. Such fractures may also be cast or splinted and allowed to heal.
Pins: The bones are held in position by Small metal pins inserted through the skin. This surgical procedure is carried out with the patient under general anesthesia but may also be done with local anesthesia. The metal pins remain in place for several weeks during which time the fracture heals and then the pins are removed.
Metal Plates & Screws: In some unusual types of hand fractures, metal screws & Locking Plates for Hand Surgery or an external fixator may be used to help maintain proper alignment of the bones.
Follow-up monitoring including x-rays to see if the hand is healing correctly is essential. The doctor will also examine whether there is any tightness in the joints during healing.
While most hand fractures heal uneventfully, the two most common problems faced by patients who have sustained a hand fracture are stiffness of the fingers and a noticeable bump. The bump is usually a result of extra bone the body forms as part of the healing process. The bump does diminish in size over time, but it may never completely go away.
By beginning motion as soon as possible stiffness of Fingers is prevented. To regain complete finger motion, it is sometimes necessary to work with a specialized hand therapist.