Boxer's Fracture

You have a break (fracture) of the fifth metacarpal bone. This is commonly called a boxer's fracture. This is the bone in the hand where the little finger attaches. The fracture is in the end of that bone, closest to the little finger. It is usually caused when you hit an object with a clenched fist. Often, the knuckle is pushed down by the impact. Sometimes, the fracture rotates out of position. A boxer's fracture will usually heal within 6 weeks, if it is treated properly and protected from re-injury. Surgery is sometimes needed.

A cast, splint, or bulky hand dressing may be used to protect and immobilize a boxer's fracture. Do not remove this device or dressing until your caregiver approves. Keep your hand elevated, and apply ice packs for 15 to 20 minutes every 2 hours, for the first 2 days. Elevation and ice help reduce swelling and relieve pain. See your caregiver, or an orthopedic specialist, for follow-up care within the next 10 days. This is to make sure your fracture is healing properly.