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.


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


Related articles

  • Bennett's fracture

    A Bennett fracture is an injury to the base of the thumb joint. It is usually caused by a hard impact or trauma such as…

  • Triquetrum fracture

    A Triquetral fracture is a break of the Triquetral bone (sometimes called triquetrum). It is one of the eight small carpal bones in the wrist…

  • Scaphoid fracture

    The scaphoid is one of the small group of bones in the wrist called the carpal bones. It is the most common carpal bone to…

  • Smith's Fracture

    A Smith's fracture is a break at the wrist end of the radius bone. It is caused by direct trauma, such as falling onto an…

  • Broken Thumb (Fracture)

    A broken thumb is either a break to the small phalanges bones which make up the thumb. Or a fracture at the base of the…

  • Hand and finger injuries

    Injuries to the hand and fingers are common in sports and must be taken seriously. Here we explain sudden onset (acute) injuries as well as…

  • Wrist muscles

    The wrist and hand muscles include the flexor pollicis longus, flexor digitorum superficialis, flexor carpi ulnaris, flexor carpi radialis, extensor digitorum communis, extensor carpi ulnaris…

Scroll to Top