A boxer’s fracture is one of the more common hand fractures. It often affects athletes, but almost anyone can suffer one. In this video, I discuss the injury, how it happens, and how you can recover from it.

What is a boxer’s fracture?

A boxer’s fracture is a fracture of the metacarpal, or one of the long bones of the hand below the fingers. Specifically, it is a fracture of the neck of the fifth metacarpal (the long bone just below the pinky finger) just below the joint at the base of that finger.

How do you suffer a boxer’s fracture?

The most common mechanism of injury involves punching a wall, another person (hence the name boxer’s fracture) or some other hard object.

An athlete getting checked by a doctor for a boxer's fracture

How do doctors treat the fracture?

If the fracture lines up well, you can avoid surgery. Treatment for nondisplaced or minimally displaced fractures would involve a cast or splint for a number of weeks until the fracture heals.

If the fracture is displaced or angulated significantly, hand surgeons often perform surgery to better align the fracture and hold it in place with pins or a plate and screws.

A patient can usually return to sports when the fracture heals and can use his or her hand as needed.

Also read:
Boxer’s fracture: Diagnosis, treatment and recovery from this difficult hand injury
Hand injury: Common injuries in exercise and sports

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