Fractures and Dislocations

Fractures and Dislocations

Fractures and dislocations of the hand and wrist are common injuries that can result from various traumatic events, such as falls, sports injuries, or accidents. They can cause significant pain, swelling, and limited mobility, affecting the ability to perform everyday tasks. Here's an overview of fractures and dislocations of the hand and wrist:

Fractures of the Hand:

  • Boxer's Fracture: A boxer's fracture refers to a fracture of the fifth metacarpal, which is the bone that connects the Pinky finger to the wrist. It typically occurs due to a direct impact, such as punching a hard object with a clenched fist.
  • Bennett's Fracture: A Bennett's fracture is a type of fracture that affects the base of the first metacarpal bone, near the wrist joint. It usually occurs from a forceful axial load on the thumb.
  • Scaphoid Fracture: The scaphoid is a small bone located near the base of the thumb. Fractures of the scaphoid are common and can occur when falling onto an outstretched hand.

Dislocations of the Hand:

  • Finger Dislocations: Dislocations can occur in any of the fingers, where the bones forming the finger joint are displaced from their normal positions.
  • MCP Dislocation: MCP (metacarpophalangeal) dislocation happens when there is an injury to the joint connecting the metacarpal bone to the proximal phalanx (the bone closest to the palm) of a finger.
  • Carpal Dislocation: Carpal bones are the small bones in the wrist. Dislocations in the wrist can occur due to high-energy trauma.

Fractures of the wrist:

  • Colles' Fracture: Colles' fracture is one of the most common types of wrist fractures. It involves the distal end of the radius, the larger bone in the forearm. The fracture typically occurs about an inch from the wrist joint and is usually the result of a fall onto an outstretched hand.
  • Smith's Fracture: A Smith's fracture, also known as a reverse Colles' fracture, is a fracture of the distal end of the radius but in an opposite direction to Colles' fracture. It usually results from a fall onto a flexed hand.

  •  Scaphoid Fracture: The scaphoid is one of the carpal bones located on the thumb side of the wrist. Fractures of the scaphoid are common and can be tricky to diagnose due to their location and subtle symptoms.
  •  Barton's Fracture: Barton's fractures involve the distal end of the radius and are often associated with dislocations of the wrist joint.
  •  Chauffeur's Fracture: This fracture affects the radial styloid process, a bony prominence on the thumb side of the wrist, and is usually caused by a direct blow to the hand.
  •  Fracture-Dislocation: In some cases, the wrist fracture can be associated with a dislocation of one or more carpal bones, leading to a more complex injury.


  • Immobilization: To promote healing, the injured hand or finger may be immobilized by your hand therapist using splints, casts, or braces.
  • Reduction: In cases of dislocation, a doctor might need to perform a reduction procedure to realign the bones manually.
  • Surgery: Some fractures and complex dislocations may require surgical intervention to stabilize the bones and promote proper healing.
  • Hand Therapy: After the initial healing period, Hand therapy exercises can help regain strength, flexibility, and function in the hand.
  • Pain Management: Pain relief medications or injections may be prescribed to manage pain and inflammation.
  • It's essential to seek medical attention promptly if you suspect a hand fracture or dislocation. Proper diagnosis and treatment are crucial to avoid complications and ensure optimal recovery. After receiving medical care, following the doctor's instructions and adhering to the rehabilitation process will aid in restoring hand function and reducing long-term effects
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