(Fifth Metacarpal Fracture)
- Nondisplaced—the bone is broken, but remains in place
- Displaced—ends of the bone are separated from one another
- Comminuted—the bone is broken into several pieces
- Closed—the fracture does not break the skin
- Open—the fracture breaks through the skin
|Bones in the Hand|
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- Punching another person or object, such as a wall, with a closed fist
- Playing certain sports
- Squeezing or crushing of the hand
- Prone to angry outbursts or fighting
- Participating in certain sports, such as boxing or football
- Increased age
- Certain diseases or conditions that result in bone or mineral loss, such as abnormal or absent menstrual cycles, or post- menopause
- Certain diseases and conditions that weaken bones, such as tumors or cysts
- Decreased muscle mass
- Exposure to violence
- Range-of-motion tests
- Without surgery—you will have anesthesia to decrease pain while the pieces are moved back into place
- With surgery—pins, screws, or plates may be needed to reconnect the pieces and hold them in place
- Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as acetaminophen or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
- Prescription pain relievers
- Antibiotics if an infection is present or possible
Rest and Recovery
- Do not put yourself at risk for trauma.
- Avoid situations where fights may occur.
- Consider anger management if you have repeated anger outbursts or are prone to fighting.
- Wear proper padding and safety equipment when participating in sports or activities.
- Clean spills and slippery areas right away
- Remove tripping hazards such as loose cords, rugs, and clutter
- Use non-slip mats in the bathtub and shower
- Install grab bars next to the toilet and in the shower or tub
- Put in handrails on both sides of stairways
- Walk only in well-lit rooms, stairs, and halls
- Keep flashlights on hand in case of a power outage
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons http://www.orthoinfo.org
American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine http://www.sportsmed.org
Canadian Orthopaedic Association http://www.coa-aco.org
Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation http://www.canorth.org
Gudmundsen TE, Borgen L. Fractures of the fifth metacarpal. Acta Radiol. 2009;50(3):296-300.
Hand and wrist pain—differential diagnosis. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated April 14, 2014. Accessed September 5, 2014.
Hand fractures. American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons Ortho Info website. Available at: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00010. Updated October 2007. Accessed September 5, 2014.
Poolman RW, Goslings JC, et al. Conservative treatment for closed fifth (small finger) metacarpal neck fractures. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2005;(3):CD003210.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 08/2014 -
- Update Date: 09/05/2014 -
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
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