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Hand Fractures Athletes

Sports-related hand fractures

Treatment and recovery info from our Asheville sports injury specialists

The metacarpal is the name given to any of five bones in the hand. For athletes, a common hand injury is a metacarpal fracture or broken hand. Hand injuries occur for various reasons.

What are the common causes of hand fractures in athletes?

One way in which athletes injure their hands in sports is through direct force. This sort of trauma is seen commonly in sports like football. A slash across the hand in a sport like ice hockey could also cause a metacarpal fracture.

Another name for metacarpal fracture is “boxer’s fracture,” perhaps because it is also possible to fracture a metacarpal by using punching force in a sport like boxing or engaging in punching activities outside of a sport. However, “boxer’s fracture” is actually not a good name for the injury since most boxers are trained to punch using certain precautionary techniques. Thus, boxers rarely sustain metacarpal fractures.

How long does it take a broken hand to heal?

Most metacarpal fractures have a short recovery time. Most of these fractures heal in a cast or brace in about 6-8 weeks. After the bone has healed, most people can resume normal daily activities, though they may notice less visibility in the knuckle of the injured finger.

In some cases , the hand is too severely angulated or deformed to heal using a splint or cast, and the patient may need to undergo surgery or a reduction to realign the bones.

Alternative treatments for extreme cases

In rare cases, after patients have bones realigned during surgery, the bones keep falling out of place.  If this happens, your physician may need to use pins or wires to hold the bones in place. These pins can generally be removed in a clinic after about 6 weeks, and this means the patient may have to sit out of sports for approximately 8-10 weeks.

We specialize in helping athletes get back to the sports they love

If you have broken your hand playing football, basketball, or even roller derby, we can help. For more than 40 years, Carolina Hand & Sports Medicine has provided Western North Carolina with advanced options to successfully overcome hand injuries and regain a pain-free lifestyle.

Contact us today to schedule an appointment with our board certified orthopedic surgeons.

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