Open Your Mind

Common Conditions

Finger and Hand Fractures

22/09/2020

What Are Finger Fractures?

A fractured finger is usually not a minor injury. The bones in a normal hand line up precisely. They let you perform many specialized functions, such as grasping a pen or manipulating small objects in the palm. When a finger bone fracture happens, it can cause your whole hand to be out of alignment. Without treatment, the broken finger might stay stiff and painful. Some causes of finger fractures include slamming fingers in a door, when putting out a hand to break a fall, when finger jams while trying to catch a ball, carelessness when working with power saws, drills and other tools can result in a fractured finger. Symptoms of finger fractures are similar to hand fractures. Symptoms include swelling, tenderness, bruising at the fracture site, inability to move the injured finger completely and deformity of the injured finger.

A splint or cast to hold the finger straight and protect it from further injury while it heals would be recommended. An x-ray might be needed along with a treatment program to monitor the progress of the fracture as it heals. Upon getting clearance for physical therapy, rehabilitation exercises to aid and reduce finger’s stiffness and swelling will be recommended. Goals for hand therapy post-finger fracture immobilization are optimal loading and restoration of normal tissue relationships to improve motion, strength and ability to perform functional activities of daily living. Manual therapy techniques such as soft tissue massage and modalities such as ice therapy, therapeutic ultrasound therapy and electro-stimulation therapy will be used in treatment. Personalized exercises to improve strength and performance of the finger and surrounding muscles will also be prescribed by your therapist. If in doubt, seek professional advice.

What Are Hand Fractures?

The bones of the hand support the muscles that make the wrist and fingers move. When one of these hand bones is broken (fractured), it can prevent one from using the hand, wrist and fingers. This injury can be caused by direct blows or falls. Motor vehicle crashes can cause hand bones to break, sometimes into many pieces and often require surgical repair. People who may be at higher risk of a broken hand are those who participate in contact sports like football or hockey or a condition in which bones become thinner and more fragile (Osteoporosis). Some symptoms of hand fractures include swelling, bruising, tenderness or pain and inability to move the finger.

For most cases, medical evaluation and x-rays are usually needed for a doctor to diagnose the fracture and determine the treatment. Depending on the type of fracture, the hand surgeon may recommend one of several treatment methods. A splint or cast may be used to treat a stable fracture. Some unstable fracture in which the bone has moved may need to be set and then held in place with wires or pins. This is done without surgery. More serious fractures may need surgery to set the bone and hold the bone fragments together with pins, plates or screws. After surgery, physical therapy can help improve joint mobility and functions. Manual therapy techniques such as soft tissue massage and modalities such as ice therapy, therapeutic ultrasound therapy and electro-stimulation therapy will be used in treatment. Personalized exercises to improve strength and performance of the hand and surrounding muscles will also be prescribed by your therapist. If in doubt, seek professional advice.