Hand Fractures: Diagnosis and Treatment
We use our hands for almost everything we do, which means that our hands are prone to injury more so than other limbs on our bodies. Hand fractures occur for many reasons; automobile accidents, sports-related injuries, breaking a fall or certain medical conditions can easily break bones in the hands. But because fractures are relatively common, there are many ways for these injuries to be diagnosed and treated.
Diagnosing Hand Fractures
As soon as a fracture occurs, it’s important to seek medical treatment immediately. Leaving a hand fracture untreated can cause the bones to improperly align and create debilitating functionality. You will often know if you have broken a bone in your hand, as you will feel severe pain whenever you try to move it. Rather than attempt to mend the bone yourself, it’s best to visit a medical professional.
Your doctor will ask you a series of questions about how you sustained your. A physical examination of the hand will also be performed to gain a better understanding of the injury. The most conclusive way to determine the extent of the fracture is to take an X-ray. A CT or MRI may also be required depending on the type of fracture and injury
Treating Your Hand Fracture
The treatment that you receive for your hand fracture will depend on the severity of the damage as well as the location. If your bones have been broken but are still intact structurally, then a splint or a cast may be used to keep the bones set in place. However, if the bones have been displaced, then surgery might be needed to set the fragments and hold them together. Screws, pins and plates can be applied to the bone to ensure that it heals properly. Surgery might also be performed if multiple fractures have occurred or if there are damaged joints or ligaments. Additionally, external hardware can be placed on the hand if the location of the fracture is in an area where frequent movement occurs.
Hand fractures can also be painful during recovery, especially if surgery was performed, which is why pain relievers may be necessary to allow your hand to heal as comfortably as possible. Additional treatments include hand therapy, which is used if the functionality of your hand has been compromised. Once your cast or splint has been removed, rehabilitation exercises can help restore mobility to your hand.
If you would like more information about hand fractures or the treatments that are available to you, please contact Dr Damon Thomas on (03) 9034 7738 and schedule a consultation.