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Broken Finger

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Media file 3: Broken finger. This x-ray was taken in the operating room after pinning of a fracture similar to the one in picture 2. The x-ray shows how the multiple small pins hold the fracture in anatomic alignment, and the shortening is gone. This will maintain stability until the fracture is healed. The pins may be removed in 4-6 weeks.

Media file 4: Broken finger. A typical fracture at the end of the small finger metacarpal is shown in this x-ray. The fragment is most always flexed toward the palm as seen in this x-ray. Most typically this fracture is caused by a closed fist striking an object. This commonly is called a boxer's (or brawler's) fracture. Treatment of this fracture usually is conservative casting. Don't be alarmed by the angulation of the bone. It is usually only cosmetic, and hand function should be normal after the bone heals.

broken finger 4

Media file 5: Broken finger. This x-ray illustrates a common fracture of the distal phalanx. It is an injury where the distal phalanx is forced toward the palm and resisted by the pull of the extensor tendon. This is very common in sporting events in which a ball strikes the end of the finger (often called mallet finger). These injuries are either bony (as seen) or involve ligaments. Treatment is splinting or surgical pinning of the distal phalanx. This injury may take a long time to heal and must be watched closely. Despite every effort to heal, a residual lag may continue after treatment. This usually is cosmetic only and does not affect grip strength.

broken finger 5

Media file 6: Broken finger. This is an x-ray of an oblique (diagonal) fracture of a metacarpal. These injuries occur from a twisting or crush injury to the hand. They are common to machining and workplace injuries as well as direct trauma. There are many different muscles and tendons that may accentuate this fracture causing shortening or angulation toward the palm. Treatment may consist of either casting with close observation or a surgical procedure for stability of the fracture. This would depend on the severity of the fracture seen on the x-ray.

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WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Varnada Karriem-Norwood, MD on May 10, 2014

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