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Boxer's Fracture

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Boxer's Fracture Symptoms

The typical symptoms of a boxer's fracture are pain or tenderness centered in a specific location on the hand corresponding to one of the metacarpal bones, around the knuckle. You may also note pain with movement of your hand or fingers.

  • When a bone is broken, you may experience a snapping or popping sensation in the affected bone.
  • Your hand may swell, discolor, or bruise around the injury site. Deformity of the broken bone or the knuckle, may also be noted. There may also be abnormal movement of the broken bone fragments. The doctor may be able to produce pain by pressing on the broken bone. In addition, pain can be produced by grabbing the finger that attaches to the metacarpal bone that was hurt and pushing it inward toward the broken bone.
  • If you make a fist with the affected hand, the doctor may notice misalignment of the associated finger. The doctor may see a deformity of the broken bone. When making a fist, the finger involved may bend toward the thumb more than is usual. This is known as rotation, and, though not always seen, its presence may indicate the possibility of a more serious type of boxer's fracture.
  • Another common sign of a possible boxer's fracture is a cut on the hand. A cut in the skin associated with a boxer's fracture may indicate a more serious type of boxer's fracture.

When to Seek Medical Care

Any time you have an injury and a fracture is suspected, contact your doctor for instructions. If the doctor is unavailable, go to the emergency department for evaluation. Also contact your doctor or go to the emergency department if you have been splinted or casted and develop increasing pain, numbness, or tingling in the fingers on the casted arm. Any signs of infection from a cut or stitched wound also require evaluation by a doctor.

Any hand injury that has signs or symptoms suggesting a fracture should be evaluated by a doctor. This may be accomplished by contacting your doctor. If your doctor can't see you right away, you may go to a hospital's emergency department.

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