Boxer’s Fracture

Boxer's fracture

A Boxer’s fracture is a break to either the 4th or the 5th Metacarpals which are the long bones on the outside of the hand. As the name indicates, this injury is usually caused by a hard impact against the hand, like a punch.

Symptoms of a boxer’s fracture

  • Boxer’s fractures are usually caused by punching something hard such as a wall or falling onto a fist.
  • The patient will experience instant severe pain in the hand at the time of injury with swelling developing quickly possibly followed by bruising.
  • The outside edge of the hand where the fracture is will be particularly tender to touch.
  • Attempting to move the hand will be painful.
  • The knuckle on the outside may appear dropped.

What is a Boxer’s fracture?

Boxer's fracture

Fractures to these two bones are known as boxer’s fractures due to the most common cause of injury being a punch. This can be to a wall or other hard surface such as someone’s head. The stress through the bone causes a break in the weakest area which is the neck of the bone, just below the knuckle.


Boxer’s fracture treatment

  • Medical attention should be sought immediately if a fracture of the hand is suspected.
  • An X-ray can confirm the diagnosis.
  • If the bone is aligned still then it may just be immobilized in a cast or splint to allow the bone to heal and most will heal without further problems.
  • However, if the bone is displaced or out of alignment then it may need to be set and held in place with pins. This requires surgery.

Surgery

Mr. Elliot Sorene MBBS FRCS (Tr & Orth) EDHS Consultant Orthopaedic, Hand & Upper Limb Surgeon explains surgery for Boxer’s fracture of the hand.

video
This article has been written with reference to the bibliography.