Metacarpal fractures are injuries to the long bones in the hand that connect the wrist to the fingers. These bones are called the metacarpals and are numbered one through five, starting with the bone that connects to the thumb.
Fractures of the metacarpals are commonly caused by direct blows to the hand, such as during sports, falls, or car accidents. The fracture can occur at any point along the length of the bone, from the base near the wrist to the head near the knuckle of the finger.
Symptoms of a metacarpal fracture may include pain, swelling, tenderness, and deformity of the affected finger. In some cases, there may also be numbness or tingling in the fingers due to nerve damage.
Treatment for a metacarpal fracture depends on the severity of the injury and the location of the fracture. In some cases, a simple splint or cast may be sufficient to immobilize the hand and allow the bone to heal. In more severe cases, surgery may be necessary to realign the bones and stabilize the fracture.
After treatment, rehabilitation may be necessary to restore strength and range of motion to the hand. This may include exercises to improve grip strength, as well as physical therapy to improve flexibility and reduce stiffness in the hand.
With prompt and appropriate treatment, most people with metacarpal fractures can expect to make a full recovery within a few weeks to a few months.