Hand Fractures

What is a Hand Fracture?

The hand is made up of a complex framework of very small bones. A hand fracture occurs when a small breakage happens in one of these bones. When a hand fracture occurs, it can prevent you from having full mobility of your hands, wrist, and fingers.

A broken hand and a hand fracture are two names for the same thing. There are a few different kinds of fractures, and they include:

  • Stable fractures: the bone pieces remain in place
  • Unstable fractures: the bone pieces shift
  • Comminuted fractures: the bone breaks into many small pieces
  • Compound fractures: the bone breaks through the skin

In any of these cases, an orthopedic hand specialist should assess the fracture and discuss your treatment options so you can regain movement of your hand.

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Before surgery the nurse even played my favorite music for me. Dr. Galli with all his experience put me at ease and ready to go through my surgery. I am healed now and using my hand at almost 100%. Thank you Regional Hand Center.

What are the Symptoms of Hand Fractures?

Hand fractures are painful, and the complex nature of their bone structure can mean it’s difficult to move your hand. It may feel stiff or even immobile. You may have difficulty moving your wrist or fingers, as well. Finally, in severe cases, you may see visible deformity of your hand, wrist, or fingers.

What Causes Hand Fractures?

Any kind of strong force can cause a hand fracture. One of the most common ways to break a hand includes falling and trying to catch yourself. However, automobile accidents and sports incidents are also common ways to break a hand.

What Treatment Options Are Available for Hand Fractures?

Your first step in treatment is diagnosing the type and location of the fracture. This typically includes an x-ray or other medical scan. From there, your orthopedic hand surgeon will assess the fracture and recommend treatment. Typically, a cast or splint can be used to support a stable fracture while it heals on its own. More serious fractures like unstable fractures may need to be set with surgery or an in-office procedure so it can be held in place with pins or screws. The most severe fractures where the bone has been completely crushed may require bone grafts to help repair the hand.

What to Expect After Hand Fracture Treatment

It’s normal to experience stiffness and soreness as your hand heals. You may also notice a small bump that forms, and it typically goes away with time. Your orthopedic hand specialist will monitor your progress and make sure your fracture heals as it should. Keep in mind that, because of the complex nature of the hand, you may not recover full mobility without physical therapy and additional treatment. Our team can ensure you know what to expect during your recovery and how to achieve best results from your treatment.

Schedule a Consultation at the Regional Hand Center

Hand fractures can be painful, but our team is here to help. To meet with our team, contact our Fresno, CA office by calling or filling out our online form.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do Broken hands ever fully heal?

Broken hands can often fully heal with proper medical care. However, the extent of recovery depends on the severity of the fracture, the treatment received, and individual factors. Some individuals may experience lingering symptoms or long-term effects, while others may achieve full recovery.

How many days rest is required for hand fracture?

The duration of immobilization needed for a hand fracture varies based on the severity and type of fracture. Fractures which are non-displaced or minimally displaced, and stable may be treated for 2-6 weeks of immobilization followed by motion. There are many factors that contribute to the duration of immobilization after a fracture. Displaced, angulated, or unstable fractures in most instances should undergo surgery to correct the alignment of the bone, and provide stability with internal fixation such as pins, or plates and screws. Once stability is established, the bone can be moved early, avoiding casting, and minimizing the chance of undesired stiffness.

Can you move your hand after a fracture?

The ability to move your hand after a fracture depends on the type and location of the fracture. In some cases, partial movement may be allowed to prevent stiffness, but it's essential to follow your doctor's guidance to avoid further damage and promote proper healing.Fractures that have been stabilized with internal fixation can be moved very early after surgery. Fractures that do not have fixation may begin movement anywhere between 2 weeks and 8 weeks after the fracture depending on the bone, the degree of angulation or displacement, the blood supply to the bone, and the degree of stability.

What is the most common bone fracture in the hand?

The metacarpal bones, which are the long bones between the wrist and fingers, are among the most commonly fractured bones in the hand. Fractures in the metacarpals often result from direct trauma, such as a fall or impact.

What helps a broken hand heal faster?

Several factors can contribute to a faster healing process for a broken hand:n1. Proper Medical Treatment: Seek prompt medical attention from a specialist.nn2. Immobilization: If non-surgical treatment is determined to be the best option for a fracture, Your specialist will begin care with a splint, sometimes followed by a cast, to assist in fracture healing.nn3. Occupational Therapy: Hand therapy may be needed, particularly if a patient did not undergo surgery, and has stiffness after a period of cast immobilization.nn4. Nutrition: A balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals, especially calcium and vitamin D, supports bone health.

Patient Resources

Whether you are planning a procedure or you are interested in options for treatment, the professional and caring Regional Hand Center team makes it easy to find the answers you need. For an appointment or answers to your questions, call (559) 322-HAND.

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Randi A. Galli, MD, FACS

Board-Certified Surgeon

Dr. Randi Galli is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgeons and a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons. A member of Alpha Omega Alpha, the medical honor society that comprises the top ten percent of medical students, Dr. Galli received his Medical Degree from Tulane University School…

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Ricardo Avena, MD, FACS

Board-Certified Surgeon

Dr. Ricardo Avena is board certified by the American Board of Surgery and is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons. Born and raised in Mexico City, Dr. Avena attended medical school at the National Autonomous University of Mexico. Upon graduation, Dr. Avena received his certification from the Educational…

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Isobel Santos, MD

Board-Certified Surgeon

Dr. Santos attended the University of California, Berkeley with a B.A in Molecular and Cell Biology with a focus on Cell and Developmental Biology. She then received her medical degree at University of Vermont College of Medicine where she was nominated to be a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha…

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