Boxer's fracture is a common name for a fracture of the long bone that connects the little finger to the wrist. This type of fracture may create several fragments. This is called a comminuted fracture. It may also be displaced. This means that the two ends of the bone are separated. In addition, the fracture may be:
These factors increase your chance of developing boxer’s fracture. Tell your doctor if you have any of these risk factors:
If you have any of these symptoms, do not assume it is due to boxer’s fracture. These symptoms may be caused by other conditions. Tell your doctor if you have any of these symptoms in your little finger:
Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will also be done. The injured finger will be examined. Tests may include:
Treatment is usually effective. You may have stiffness and a permanent bump on the hand. Talk with your doctor about the best treatment for you. Options include:
If the bones are not aligned correctly, they may have to be moved for proper healing. Once the bones are in place, you will have to wear a splint or cast for about six weeks.
Your doctor may recommend:
Your doctor may recommend range-of-motion and strengthening exercises once the fracture has healed. You may be referred to a physical therapist.
To help reduce your chances of getting boxer’s fracture, take the following steps:
American Academy of Family Physicians
American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons
Canadian Family Physician
Canadian Orthopaedic Association
Acute finger injuries: part II: fractures, dislocations, and thumb injuries. American Family Physician website. Available at: http://www.aafp.org/afp/2006/0301/p827.html . Published March 1, 2006. Accessed February 4, 2010.
Hand fractures. American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons website. Available at: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00010 . Updated October 2007. Accessed February 4, 2010.
Howson A. Discharge instructions for boxer’s fracture. EBSCO Patient Education Reference Center website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/thisTopic.php?marketID=16&topicID=1034 . Updated November 1, 2009. Accessed February 4, 2010.
Poolman RW, Goslings JC, Lee J, Statius M, Steller, E. Conservative treatment for closed fifth (small finger) metacarpal neck fractures. Cochrane Collaboration website. Available at: http://www.cochrane.org/reviews/en/ab003210.html . Updated August 4, 2008. Accessed February 4, 2010.
Last reviewed March 2013 by Teresa Briedwell, DPT, OCS
Last Updated: 3/15/2013