Boxer’s Fracture | Boxer Bone Fracture Treatment | Boxer’s Fracture Diagnosis, Surgery, Healing Time and Types
What do you know about boxer’s fracture? This is only one of the types of bone fractures that a person would have if one of the bones on the knuckles get broken. This is also sometimes called as brawler’s fracture. A bone fracture like this is not actually something that trained and experienced boxers would have. Instead, brawlers are likely to have this because they are not trained to give a punch properly without breaking anything. A more serious condition would be to have comminuted fracture wherein there are three or more fragments. If a boxer might have a fracture, why not a dancer’s fracture wherein the foot is concerned? During a fall or a strong impact during an accident that affects the hips, dens fracture could happen. When the feet are overused, a foot stress fracture also occurs. These are only some of the different types of bone fractures.
The fingers and the wrist are bridged together by the metacarpal bones, with one bone for each finger as the connection to the wrist. Thus, there are five of these metacarpal bones in your hand. Each bone has a head, a neck, a shaft, and a base.
- The head serves as the direct portion that bridges the gap between the tip of the metacarpal bone to the finger.
- The neck is in between the shaft and the head.
- The shaft is the slender figure of the metacarpal bone.
- The base connects all the fingers to the wrist.
A fracture happens when the base of the metacarpal bone breaks, which is called as boxer fracture. It usually occurs on the ring finger or the fourth metacarpal bone and the little finger or the fifth metacarpal bone of the hand. This is the usual classification of boxer fractures while others would count the fracture of the second and third metacarpal bones as the same fracture injury. The bone between the index finger and the wrist is the second metacarpal bone while the one between the middle finger and the wrist is the third metacarpal bone.
Causes of Fractured Metacarpal Bones
A boxer’s bone fracture is caused by punching a hard object with a tightly closed fist. After brawling or after punching anything hard, the bone on the knuckles would likely break upon strong impact on another surface, resulting to knuckle fracture. However, there are also times when you will get fracture of metacarpal bones even when you have hit something with your hand wide open.
There are some fracture symptoms that will help you recognize if you have really broken any of your metacarpal bones. Fractures like these are usually characterized by tenderness and/or pain on the surrounding area of the knuckle. Even little movements on your hand would prompt pain. Here are some more symptoms of this type of hand fracture:
- Bones popping or snapping would be felt on the fractured area. This happens when there are broken knuckle bones.
- The affected area can be easily identified by its bruise or swell. The fractured knuckle bone can be immediately set apart from the other normal bones. It can be detected due to its deformity. Upon consultation with a doctor, pressure would be placed on the suspected fractured area. If it feels painful, that could be the right place to start with the boxer fracture treatment. It would also feel painful when the finger that is connected to the broken metacarpal bone is touched, all the more when it is pushed towards the other bones in the hand. The fragments of the fractured bone would also move differently than how it used to.
- Closing the hand where the boxer’s fractures would have pain shooting through the hand. With this action, the doctor would likely see your deformed bone again. The affected bone would tend to point more towards the thumb. This is a sign that the fracture is already serious. Thus, it is urgent to treat boxer fracture at this moment.
- Aside from the deformed bone, an open wound on the hand is also a telltale sign that should have the patient rushing to the doctor to know how to heal the broken bone immediately.
Cases When the Doctor is Needed
The doctor should be consulted right after the knuckle injury even after you have been administered with first aid. This is to keep the fracture from getting worse. The emergency department of a nearby hospital would be a perfect alternative if a doctor cannot be reached. If you continue to feel pain despite the boxer fracture cast or splint, the patient should still see a doctor. Other broken knuckle symptoms that would prompt calling for the doctor would be numbness, escalating intensity of pain, and tingly sensations even when there is already a boxer fracture splint. An open wound in a boxing fracture should also be checked by the doctor.
Showing the doctors boxer fracture pictures over the Internet, when the doctor happens to be away is not enough. An actual examination should be done by an experienced doctor, or any medical personnel, from the emergency department of a hospital. If you trusted somebody to do the fracture cast for you, you cannot do the same for the evaluation of your wound. The fracture should only be done by a real doctor.
Boxer’s Bone Fracture Diagnosis
Physical examination is necessary for any type of fracture for the doctor to know, in your case, how to treat boxer fracture quick. Some diagnostic tests have to be performed. X-ray is a fixture in the diagnosis of any serious fracture. After consulting with the doctor, certain findings would tell if there are certain hidden fractures that will only be seen via repeated x-rays. These findings would usually consist of:
- Tenderness in a certain area in the hand
- Deformity of a part of the knuckle
- Exposure to risky activities that cause the fracture
- Bruises or discoloration
- Difficulty in moving the hands
- Unbalanced temperature in the affected and normal area
- Open wound
After the x-ray, further physical examination needs to be done. This will help the doctor determine if a boxer fracture brace would be necessary. The brace would help keep the fragments of the fractured bones in place until they are all healed and connected to each other in their right position. The correct boxer fracture emedicine would also be determined. The doctor would also try to carefully look examine the fracture for the possibility of any foreign bodies in it that might cause infection. They can delay fracture healing time. Careful disinfection of an open wound in a fracture would do wonders in helping hasten the fractured knuckles recovery time.
Repeated x-rays are necessary to detect some hidden fractures. Rehabilitation would not commence unless all the fragments of the fractured bone are already connected in their proper places.
Serious fractures would need fracture surgery. However, there are fracture complications and other risks that should be watched out for. Parents should carefully watch over the boxer fracture in children, if they happen to have broken their knuckle bone while playing. Treatment and boxer’s fracture physical therapy can be done at home. There are also certain medicines that are likely prescribed by the doctor, particularly pain relievers.
Home treatment is like naturally treating yourself at home. Recovery time following the home treatment would likely be similar to that of medical treatment as long as things are done properly. You can do rehab through the following:
- Put an ice pack to the fractured area.
- Elevate the affected hand whenever you can to reduce swelling.
- Disinfect the open wound from the fracture with soap and water before covering it up with bandage.
- Keep the affected hand from moving. This is when braces are most useful because they can help keep the fractured bone in place. Do not let the injured hand exert any effort because this will only do more damage to the broken bone.
Medical treatment would also be necessary especially with serious fractures. The splint would be recommended by a doctor. When the fractured bone has its fragments misaligned, the splint is required. Angulation or the misalignment of the fragments on the second and third metacarpal bones would need the attention of a hand specialist because this does not usually happen in the cases of fractures in the knuckle bones. Pain management is also necessary once the patient is under medical treatment. Pain will always be felt if some of the metacarpal bones are still broken. Thus, emedicine like pain relievers and anti-inflammatory drugs should be taken. There are over-the-counter medicines that are available or the doctor might prescribe some medications. There are also drugs that are used to counter side effects.