Fractures happen when the bones in the hand and wrist are broken by impact from machines or tools, or by falling down and landing on the hand. These can be closed (no open wounds) or open (open wound near the broken bone ends).
The distal phalanx is the bone in the fingertip. A stable distal phalanx is needed to for proper finger function and nail growth. While most distal phalanx fractures do not need to be fixed, some do. They can be very complex with many fragments that need to be joined together properly. Badly fixed fractures will not heal well, causing a lot of pain and delaying return to work.
Open-hand fractures need to be operated on as soon as possible to clean the bone of all dirt and stabilize it. This decreases the risk of infection and allows early rehabilitation to prevent stiffness.
Closed fractures of the hand, if they are displaced or causing deformity, must be put back in the appropriate alignment and stabilized with metal wires, screws or plates to restore good function to the hand. This is best done within a few days of the hand injury, to allow early rehabilitation as soon as possible.
Fracture at the neck of the fifth metacarpal is very common in our practice. Volar plate fixation is our treatment of choice as it allows early mobilisation and prevents extensor tendon adhesion and the surgical scar placement is in the palm.
Fractures when fixed with appropriate implants will allow early hand therapy. Complications include long screws or wires preventing movement, bad alignment of fracture pieces, implants too large causing tendons to get stuck and preventing movement, and severe infections due to improper management of the skin and tissues. These can potentially slow down recovery and early return to work or sports activities.
If you would like to learn more about the treatment and the possible outcomes, feel free to inquire here.