When should you see a doctor for a boxer’s fracture?

When people get hurt, they often wonder if and when they should see a doctor. You might be in that same situation for your pain or injury. In this Ask Dr. Geier video, I explain the timing during which it might be best to see a doctor for a common fracture of the hand, a boxer’s fracture.

Mike asks:

I got a boxer’s fracture on Sunday morning. I’m not able to find an orthopedic specialist with an appointment before Thursday. Am I risking more complications if I wait 5 days to have it treated? I went to an urgent care and got x-rays.

A boxer’s fracture is a fracture of the fifth metacarpal. The metacarpals are the long bones of the hand, and the fifth metacarpal is the long bone just below your little – or pinky – finger.

You can break this bone by punching a wall, another person or other hard object. Sometimes the fracture lines up well, and a surgeon can treat you in a brace or cast. Other times, the surgeon must line it up better so that it heals in a good position. This reduction and occasional internal fixation needs to be performed within a certain timeframe.

In this video, I explain when it is best to see a doctor if you suspect you have broken this or any other bone in your hand.

Also read:
When should you see a doctor for your sports or exercise injury?
Ask Dr. Geier – Can a football player still play with his hand in a padded cast?

Location of a boxer's fracture

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