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.

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.

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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.

Have you suffered a boxer’s fracture? How did your doctor treat it? Please share your experience below!

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?

Please remember, while I appreciate your questions, I cannot and will not offer specific medical advice by email, online, on my show, or in the comments at the end of these posts. My responses are meant to provide general medical information and education. Please consult your physician or health care provider for your specific medical concerns.

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david-headshot I am an orthopaedic surgeon and sports medicine specialist in Charleston, South Carolina.

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