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Boxers Fracture

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Updated October 23, 2005

Definition: The boxer's fracture is a broken bone of the hand, classically at the base of the small finger. The boxer's fracture is a break that occurs in the region of the bone called the metacarpal neck. The metacarpal is the bone in the palm of the hand that extends from the small bones of the wrist the knuckle at the base of the finger. The site of the break in a boxers' fracture is near the knuckle.

How does a boxer's fracture occur?
Most often boxer's fractures are seen after punching a person or an object such as a wall. While the injury is most often a punching motion, patients can also sustain this injury with non-punching types of motions.

What are the symptoms of a boxer's fracture?
Patients who sustain a boxers fracture commonly complain of pain and swelling at the base of the small finger. There is also commonly a bump over the back of the palm just below the small finger knuckle. This bump may not go away even with proper treatment. However, the bump does not interfere with proper or hand and finger function.

What is the treatment of a boxer's fracture?
Depending on the severity of the boxer's fracture, these can be treated either by casting or surgery. If surgery is needed, the usual treatment is with small pins through the skin to secure the bones in place.

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