Greg P. Watchmaker, MD
Specialty: Hand Surgery
- Hand Surgery
- Orthopedic Surgery
Location and Office HoursThe Milwaukee Hand Center
1535 W Market St
Thiensville, WI 53092
- Aurora St Luke's Medical Center
- Children's Hospital of Wisconsin
- Children's Hospital of Wisconsin Main Campus
- Columbia St Mary's Hospital Osaukee
- Columbia St Mary's Women's Hospital
- Orthopaedic Hospital of Wisconsin
- Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare St Francis
- Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare St Joseph
What are the risks of having a hand fracture?
The biggest risk of most hand fractures is loss of function; usually, the loss is related to motion. Hand fractures that are not treated/followed can result in malrotated fingers that overlap or excessive stiffness. This is why it is so important to seek medical attention even for "just a broken finger."
How is a hand fracture treated?
Treatment of hand fractures depends on your age, what bone is broken and where/how in that bone, whether your fingers are malrotated or “scissoring” over each other, and other factors. Your hand doctor can examine you and your X-rays to determine whether the fracture needs to be reduced (or “set”) and whether it can be treated in a splint/cast or might need surgery.
Once your doctor considers your fracture “stable” enough, you might be sent for hand therapy to start motion. Early motion helps prevent stiffness, but there always is a balance between early motion and stability of the fracture.
What causes a hand fracture?
Believe it or not, there are 19 bones in each of your hands and 8 in each wrist, not including those big long forearm bones. These bones and the joints between them provide protection and support for the many tendons, muscles, nerves, blood vessels and ligaments that work together to make your hands function so well!
When a significant force is applied to your bone, it can break (or fracture, which is the technical term for “break!”). This causes pain, stiffness, bruising, or even bleeding if there is a break in the skin. Sometimes you will see a deformity (your finger might look crooked).
See all Hand Fracture questions