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Hand and finger fractures are common in people who participate in sports or who are involved in any type of trauma to the upper extremity. Fractures to the bones in the hands (metacarpals) or to those of the fingers (phalanges) may cause the hand to become painful, swollen or anatomically distorted. The only way to know the difference between a “sprain” and a “fracture” is with an X-ray. Overall, you may find that the term fracture and broken-bone are used interchangeably in the healthcare field as they mean the same thing.
A fracture in the hand or finger usually results in immediate pain, bruising, swelling and may lead to distortion in the way the fingers or hand usually looks anatomically, if significant displacement of the bones is associated with the fracture.
Casting or splinting may be appropriate for treatment. Most of these fractures require surgery with the insertion of pins or small metal rods into the fractured bones, or the placement of plates and screws in order to hold the fractured bones in the correct anatomical position. Such surgery to address the fracture is usually done with mild sedation and local anesthesia, and does not require you to be put to sleep. The key to a great outcome and full range of motion of joints involved is appropriate postoperative hand therapy,done by a certified hand therapist.
If you would like more information on Finger Fractures, we invite you to review an educational website endorsed by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.