There are twenty-seven bones in the human hand (fourteen in the digits alone). In a way, this makes sense: the hands are incredibly complex devices and it takes a lot of moving pieces to make them work. Unfortunately, this also means that when one of those pieces if damaged or traumatized, it can bring the whole machine to a grinding halt. Fractures can come about from a wide variety of causes—sometimes due to compression trauma, other times from blunt force trauma. Even small amounts of daily stress on the bones can cause fractures. That’s why, if you are experiencing severe pain in your hand, you should consult with a hand surgeon as soon as possible. Dr. Charles Polsen has a significant amount of experience treating hand fractures in the Houston area, including Clear Lake.
What Are the Symptoms of a Hand Fracture?
Broken bones anywhere in the body tend to produce similar symptoms. If you’ve had a broken bone, you likely know what that feels like, and if you haven’t, then you might find out. Symptoms of fractured bones in the hand may include the following:
- Severe pain, especially pain when you are trying to grip or lift something
- Numbness or tingling in your hand
- Being unable to move your hands or fingers
- A crooked or bent wrist or finger (or other obvious deformity)
- Swelling, tenderness, or bruising of the hand, wrist, or fingers
Often, the pain will be the most pronounced symptom, but not always. If you suspect you have a fractured bone in the hand, it is important to schedule a consultation as quickly as possible, in order to prevent infection and to promote proper healing.
How is a Fractured Hand Treated?
The first step in treating any hand injury is to properly diagnose the problem. When it comes to hand fractures, this means examining the hand and, usually, taking x-rays of the injured area. This will indicate the severity of the problem. Once x-rays have been taken and properly examined, there are a wide range of remedies for fractures.
In some cases, the hand will simply need to be wrapped in a splint. This is common for finger injuries, especially. In other cases, however, the fracture will need to be surgically repaired, often using pins or plates and screws in order to ensure proper healing. The treatment will depend greatly on the severity of the fracture and the extent of the damage.
We often see crushed fingertips from the many laborers that we treat. It is important that we treat these patients urgently, again to help prevent infection and provide the best possible care to maintain the maximum length of the finger. Sometimes there are surgical procedures that can be done, that when one is completely healed they suffer no loss to the length of the fingertip.
If you have experienced a finger, hand or wrist fracture in the Houston area, you should seek treatment as quickly as possible. Dr. Charles Polsen has a great deal of experience treating hand ailments of all kinds, including fractures. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.