Fractures of the hand can occur in either the small bones of the fingers (phalanges) or the long bones (metacarpals). They can result from a twisting injury, a fall, a crush injury, or direct contact in sports.
Signs and symptoms of a broken bone in the hand include:
- Inability to move the finger
- Shortened finger
- Finger crosses over its neighbor when making a partial fist
- Depressed knuckle
A depressed knuckle is often seen in a “boxer’s fracture.” This is a fracture of the fifth metacarpal, the long bone below the little finger.
A physical examination is done to check the position of the fingers and the condition of the skin. The examination may include some range of motion tests and an assessment of feeling in the fingers. This will ensure that there is no damage to the nerves. X-rays identify the location and extent of the fracture.