March 6, 2017

How do I know if my hand is broken?

Hand, Wrist and Elbow

Hand fractures can occur in either the small bones of the fingers (phalanges) or the long bones (metacarpals). They can result from a twisting injury, a fall, a crush injury or direct contact in sports.

Broken hand symptoms

  • Swelling
  • Tenderness
  • Deformity
  • Inability to move the finger
  • Shortened finger
  • Finger crosses over its neighbor when making a partial fist
  • Sunken-in knucklefhand

Physician examination

To see if you have a fractured hand, a physician will check the position of the fingers and the condition of the skin. The exam may also include some range of motion tests and an assessment of feeling on the fingers. This ensures that there is no damage to the nerves. An X-ray may be used to identify the location and extent of the fracture.

Make an appointment with a hand, wrist or elbow specialist

Treatment

Most of the time, a broken hand can be realigned without surgery. A splint, cast or brace is usually applied to immobilize the bones and hold them in place. The cast will probably extend from the fingertips down the wrist almost to the elbow.

After ten days, X-rays may be taken to ensure that the bones have remained in proper position. After three to six weeks of wearing the cast, hand exercises will be used to strengthen the hand and regain range of motion and grip strength.

Some hand fractures will need surgery to realign the bones. An orthopedic surgeon can implant wires, screws or plates in the broken bone to hold the pieces of the fractured bone in place.

Rehabilitation

Most patients need guided hand therapy to reach full recovery overtime. Recovery time varies based on the type of fracture.

Learn more about hand, wrist and elbow treatment at OrthoIndy.

Schedule an Appointment Call OrthoIndy 317.802.2000
Megan Golden

By Megan Golden

Megan is the current marketing specialist for OrthoIndy. Megan graduated from Ball State University in 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in public relations and advertising and a communications studies minor and has been with OrthoIndy since then.

Related Posts

More from OrthoIndy

Hand surgery repairs patient’s broken fingers

Hand surgery repairs patient’s broken fingers

After falling and breaking her fingers, Katie underwent hand surgery to correct the deformity and return to her normal lifestyle.

More

What is baseball finger (mallet finger)?

What is baseball finger (mallet finger)?

Mallet finger, also known as baseball finger, occurs when some impacts the tip of a finger or thumb and forces it to bend further than it usually goes.

More

Elbow injury threatens to take patient’s passion away

Elbow injury threatens to take patient’s passion away

Broken elbow leads patient to surgery in hopes of returning to horseback riding.

More

Get stories and News in your inbox

Subscribe to our weekly articles