Patient Education

To help you understand and navigate through your orthopedic health decisions, we have created a patient education section. Please select from one of the categories below to learn more about your condition or procedure.
Hand Fractures

A hand fracture is a break in one of the bones in the hand, including the small bones of the fingers or thumb (phalanges) and the long bones within the palm (metacarpals).

Common Symptoms

  • Pain that worsens when gripping, squeezing or moving the hand
  • Swelling, Tenderness, Bruising
  • Obvious deformity, such as a crooked, rotated, or deviated finger
  • Stiffness or inability to move fingers or thumb
  • Numbness in the hand or fingers

Cause & Anatomy

There are several causes for Hand Fractures:

  • Falls onto an outstretched arm and hand
  • Direct blows to the hand area, such as in car accidents, work injuries, or hitting something
  • Crushing injuries
  • Sports accidents

The hand is made up of small bones in the fingers called phalanges and long bones that connect them to the wrist called metacarpals. These bones support a network of attachments of muscles and tendons that allow the hand to function.


Diagnosis involves a physical examination of the affected area and imaging tests like X-rays to confirm the presence and extent of the fracture.


To prevent hand fractures from falls:

  • Wear sensible shoes
  • Remove tripping hazards at home
  • Install grab bars and handrails
  • Avoid slippery surfaces


Non-surgical treatment options include:

  • Setting the bone in proper alignment
  • Immobilization with a splint or cast for 4-6 weeks


Surgery may be required for more complex fractures, including:

  • Pinning of the bones
  • Fixing the bone with screws and plates
  • Bone grafting for severely crushed bones


After treatment, hand therapy is important to regain motion and function. This may include:

  • Exercises to reduce stiffness
  • Strengthening exercises
  • Customized treatment plans based on individual needs


What increases the risk of hand fractures?
Participating in contact sports like football or hockey, and conditions like osteoporosis that weaken bones.

What are potential complications?
Ongoing stiffness, arthritis, nerve or blood vessel damage.

How long does it take to recover?
Typically 4-6 weeks of immobilization, followed by rehabilitation exercises

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