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Bennett's Fracture of the Thumb


Updated May 23, 2007

Definition: There are two common types of fractures that occur at the base of the thumb, called Bennett's fracture and Rolando's fracture. These fractures are worrisome because the break in the bone also involves the joint between the thumb and the wrist. Left untreated, these injuries can cause long-term thumb problems.

How does a Bennett fracture occur?
A Bennett fracture generally occurs as a result of a fall on the thumb or a direct blow to the thumb (commonly the result of a punch or fist fight). Common symptoms of a Bennett's fracture include pain and swelling at the base of the thumb.

What is the treatment of a Bennett's fracture?
Your doctor will evaluate your x-rays to determine the appropriate treatment for the injury. If the joint surface is lined up well, a cast can be used for treatment. If the joint surface is out of position, usually surgery will be recommended. At the time of surgery, your doctor will determine if the bones can be held in place with pins placed through the skin. If not, an incision is made to properly align the bone fragments.


AD Soyer "Fractures of the base of the first metacarpal: current treatment options" J. Am. Acad. Ortho. Surg., Nov 1999; 7: 403 - 412.

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