Boxer's Fracture

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This fracture in the hand is often caused by hitting something with a closed fist, thus the name Boxer’s Fracture. It is commonly seen in teenagers. The fracture will typically heal within 3 to 4 weeks from the date of injury.X-ray with arrow showing Boxer's Fracture

Symptoms

When a Boxer’s Fracture occurs, there is usually:

  • Bruising
  • Swelling
  • Less motion of hand or fingers
  • Pain with hand and finger motion

Diagnosing the Fracture

X-rays of the hand are taken to see if there is a fracture. A Boxer’s Fracture is a small finger metacarpal neck fracture (Picture 1).

Treatment

This fracture is a stable injury. We do not expect it to worsen. It is safely treated with the hand in a Velcro brace (Picture 2). The brace will be put on the hand to help keep the bone protected and keep the wrist and fingers still as the bone heals. Velcro brace for Boxer's Fracture treatment

Your child should wear the Velcro brace for 3 weeks from the time he or she is seen in clinic.

  • The brace should only be removed for showers, baths, or other hygiene and then at least once daily to check the skin for irritation or redness.
  • Keep the brace clean and dry at all times.
  • Your child may participate in sports, gym, and other physical activities while wearing the Velcro brace.At the 3-week mark, your child may wean out of the brace when there is no longer any pain if the area over the metacarpal neck is pressed. No formal follow-up is needed.

At the 3-week mark, your child may wean out of the brace when there is no longer any pain if the area over the metacarpal neck is pressed. No formal follow-up is needed.

  • Your child may have some wrist or finger stiffness and weakness for 1 to 2 weeks after removal of the brace. If these symptoms continue after 2 weeks, please call the orthopedic clinic.
  • There may be a small difference in how your child’s knuckle looks on the injured hand. You may even notice a bump on the back of the hand. These differences should not limit the movement of the hand.

When to Call the Clinic 

Call the orthopedic clinic if:

  • Your child has numb or tingling fingers.
  • Your child’s fingers are bluish-purple in color.
  • The fingers feel cold and do not improve when the hand is raised.
  • There is more than a little swelling with discomfort.
  • Your child has extreme pain when you move his or her fingers.
  • Your child does not have full motion after the 3 weeks of treatment.

Clinic Contact Information:

Clinic hours are Monday through Friday, 8:00 am to 4:30 pm. The phone number is 614-722-5175. Ask for the nurse to discuss any symptoms.

Evenings, weekends and holidays phone 614-722-2000. Ask for the orthopedic resident on call to discuss any symptoms.

Boxers Fracture (PDF)

HH-I-453 07/19 Copyright 2019, Nationwide Children’s Hospital