Metacarpal Fractures

Metacarpal Fractures

July 18, 2021

Paul Nielsen, MD

Orthopaedic Surgeon

What Are the Symptoms of a Metacarpal Fracture?

  • Pain in the hand after an injury
  • Significant swelling in the hand
  • Prominence of the bone on the back side of the hand

What Are Common Causes of Metacarpal Fractures?

  • Direct blow to the hand
  • Striking the hand against a hard object
  • Crush injuries and car wrecks

Are There Different Types of Breaks?

  • Location
    • Shaft: the middle part of the bone
    • Neck: the part of the bone closest to the finger
    • Base: the part that attaches to the wrist bones
  • Open Fractures
    • The bone comes through the skin and is contaminated
    • Typically are fixed emergently to decrease risk of infection

How are Metacarpal Fractures Treated?

  • Mildly displaced or angled fractures can often be treated with immobilization
    • Usually a splint or cast for 4-6 weeks
  • Severely displaced breaks, rotated, or multiple fractures are often treated with surgery 
    • The procedure is normally a same-day outpatient procedure
    • The fracture is repaired with a screw inside the bone or a plate on the back of the bone

What Is Recovery Like After Surgery?

  • Range of motion starts within a week after surgery to avoid stiffness 
  • Full use of the hand typically requires 4-6 weeks
  • Most patients regain normal range of motion and strength 

Concerned about a metacarpal fracture or injury? Call 308-865-2570 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Nielsen today. Same day appointments typically available. No referral required.


About the Author

Paul Nielsen, MD is an orthopedic surgeon specializing in hand, elbow, and shoulder surgery at New West Sports Medicine & Orthopaedic Surgery in Kearney, NE.

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