What is it?
  • Boxer's fracture is the common name for a break in the end of the small finger metacarpal bone.
What caused it?
  • It is usually caused by punching something harder than the hand, such as a wall or another person's head. The end of the metacarpal bone takes the brunt of the impact, which usually breaks through the narrowest area near the end (the "neck"), and bends down toward the palm. 
What can you do to help?
  • Ice, elevation, and hangover help if needed.
What can a therapist do to help?
  • A therapist can make a splint to help protect the broken bone.
What can a doctor do to help?
  • A doctor can set the bone, but many times the bone falls back after being set. If the break is bad enough, it may be best to have the fracture set and then held in place with pins or other hardware.
How successful is treatment?
  • Casting or splinting the break is helpful to keep from injuring the area further, but without surgery, the break usually heals with a bend at the site of the break. The most reliable way to get the bones to heal straight is to use with pins or other orthopedic hardware. This works well in most people - but is not usually needed, as most people do just fine even if the bone heals with a bit of a bend.
What happens if you have no treatment?
  • Most of the time, the break heals without any real problem. However, if the bone heals with too much of a bend, it may mess up the action of the tendons which straighten the other finger joints, and result in a permanent bend in the middle knuckle of the finger.

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