Boxer’s fracture

A boxer’s fracture is basically a break through the bones of the hand that forms the knuckles. The condition is also referred to as brawler’s fracture since boxers are not likely to suffer from this injury. The metacarpal bones in the hand basically connect to the bones in the fingers to the bones in the wrist. There are 5 metacarpal bones and each connects to every finger to the wrist.

With this fracture, it involves a break in the neck of the metacarpal bones connecting the ring finger or little finger to the wrist.

Symptoms of boxer’s fracture

The usual symptoms of a boxer’s fracture include pain or tenderness that is focused in a specific location on the affected hand. The individual can also experience pain when the hand or fingers are moved.

  • Once a bone is broken, there is a popping or snapping sensation in the affected bone
  • The hand can swell, bruise or discolor at the site of injury. There is also deformity of the broken bone or knuckle. Additionally, there is abnormal movement of the broken bone fragments.
  • Cut in the hand particularly the skin can indicate that it is a serious type
  • When a fist is formed using the affected hand, there is misalignment of the affected finger.

When to seek medical care

If an individual has an injury and a fracture is suspected, it is best to contact a doctor for instructions. In case a doctor is not available, take the individual directly to the emergency department at the nearest hospital.

Contact a doctor or take the individual to the emergency department if the affected arm or hand has been casted or splinted and develops increasing numbness, pain, or tingling sensation in the fingers. Signs of infection from a sutured wound or cut must also be assessed by a doctor.

Any hand injury that shows signs or symptoms indicating a fracture must be checked by a doctor or bring the individual directly to the emergency department.

Treatment for boxer’s fracture

boxer's fracture

The affected hand must be immobilized to prevent further damage.

First aid care for boxer’s fracture can be performed before a seeing a doctor. The objective of caring for an injured hand is to minimize the swelling and pain, lower the risk of infection if there are open cuts and to prevent injury due to an unstable fracture.

  • The ideal approach to minimize the pain and swelling is to apply an ice pack to the affected area. If ice is not available, place a towel soaked in cold water on the injured hand.
  • If there is an open cut at the time of injury, it indicates an open fracture. Take note that this type of injury can put the individual at risk for infection and poor healing. Cuts must be washed with soap and water and covered with a clean bandage right away to minimize the risk for infection.
  • Immobilize the injured hand to prevent further damage. Instruct the individual to hold the injured hand using the unaffected hand.



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