Call our offices at:|
9301 Wilshire Boulevard
Beverly Hills, California 90210
|INSURANCE & WORKERS' COMPENSATION
We accept most types of insurance
providers and specialize in the treatment of workers'
compensation injuries to the hand and upper extremity.
Signs & Symptoms
Treatment of Fractures
Recovery & Therapy
To make the fingers and hand move, there's a frame of bones inside
the hand that are attached to muscles. If one of those bones is hit
hard enough, or gets enough pressure put on it, the bone will break
and cause a fracture.
|You will know when a bone has been fractured because there
will be pain, swelling, and the injured part may not work the
same. A fracture isn't any different from a break and sometimes,
if the pieces are still aligned and don't move, are called simple
fractures. Other times, the pieces that were broken can move
around. Some fractures happen in the main part of the bone,
the shaft, but others happen near the joints.
If the bone is shattered into many pieces, it is referred to as a
comminuted fracture, and usually results from a strong blow. An open
or compound fracture is when a bone fragment pokes through the skin,
which means there is a danger of infection.
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A fracture involving any of the many bones in the hand usually ends
up causing pain, stiffness, or the loss of some movement in either
the hand or fingers. Sometimes the fracture will cause something very
noticeable, like a crooked finger, but other times there is no visible
change. Because the bones in the hand work closely with the tendons
and ligaments that are attached to them, even after the fracture heals,
the hand may still be weak or stiff. If the fracture happened near
one of the joints or knuckles, arthritis can develop in the affected
|Signs & Symptoms
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Before any treatment is decided on, your doctor will usually examine
your hand and take some x-rays to see the damage. There are several
treatment options, which depend on the type and location of the fracture.
|Treatment of Fractures
If the bone didn't move when it was fractured, or has been set by
a hand doctor, either a splint or cast may be used to keep the bone
in place. If the bone was moved when the fracture happened, it may
need to be held in place with a screw, a plate, or pins. If this can
be done without cutting the hand open, it's called a closed reduction
and internal fixation.
If a hand surgeon needs to perform surgery to put the bone in place,
it is referred to as an open reduction. After the fragments of the
fractured bone are set back where they belong, pins, plates, or screws
are used to hold them together. Articular fractures, those that change
the normal working of a joint, usually need to be restored very precisely
and delicately to keep the surfaces of the joint as smooth as possible.
If the bone was fractured so badly that pieces of it are missing or
can't be fixed, a bone graft from somewhere else in the body may be
necessary to help restore stability.
An external fixator, a set of metal bars on the outside of the injured
part that use metal pins above and below where the bone was fractured,
may be used after the fracture has been set in place. This device
acts like a traction device and stops the bone from moving until it
is fully healed.
After the fracture has healed enough to be stable, you may be given
a set of motion exercises to perform to keep the area flexible. Your
hand doctor will only prescribe these exercises after your hand or
finger fracture has become stable enough to perform them.
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It's not always possible or even necessary for the bone to end up
perfectly aligned after surgery for you to have full use of your hand
after surgery. Sometimes the bone will heal with what's called a fracture
callus, which is a bony lump where the bone fused back together. This
is normal, and the bump often gets smaller as time passes.
|Recovery & Therapy
As a fracture heals, you may have stiffness in your hands or fingers,
the bone may shift a little, the area may become infected, or the
bone may heal slowly or not at all. Smoking has been shown to slow
down the time it takes a fracture to heal, and if a child has fractured
a bone in his or her hand or finger, that bone's later growth may
These complications can be avoided, or the chances of them showing
up can be reduced, by carefully following the advice your hand surgeon
gives you when the bone is healing and before you go back to work
or start using your hand again actively. To speed up the healing
process and increase the chances of getting full use of your hand
back after a hand fracture, you should expect to get a hand therapy
program that includes splints to hold the bone in place and exercises
to do by your hand doctor.
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