Metacarpal Fractures

ExitCare ImageFractures of metacarpals are breaks in the bones of the hand. They extend from the knuckles to the wrist. These bones can break in many ways. There are different ways of treating these fractures.

HOME CARE

  • Only exercise as told by your doctor.

  • Return to activities as told by your doctor.

  • Go to physical therapy as told by your doctor.

  • Follow your doctor's advice about driving.

  • Keep the injured hand raised (elevated) above the level of your heart.

  • If a plaster, fiberglass, or pre-formed splint was applied:

  • Wear your splint as told and until you are examined again.

  • Apply ice on the injury for 15-20 minutes at a time, 03-04 times a day. Put the ice in a plastic bag. Place a towel between your skin and the bag.

  • Do not get your splint or cast wet. Protect it during bathing with a plastic bag.

  • Loosen the elastic bandage around the splint if your fingers start to get numb, tingle, get cold, or turn blue.

  • If the splint is plaster, do not lean it on hard surfaces or put pressure on it for 24 hours after it is put on.

  • Do not try to scratch the skin under the cast.

  • Check the skin around the cast every day. You may put lotion on red or sore areas.

  • Move the fingers of your casted hand several times a day.

  • Only take medicine as told by your doctor.

  • Follow up as told by your doctor. This is very important in order to avoid permanent injury, disability, or lasting (chronic) pain.

GET HELP RIGHT AWAY IF:

  • You develop a rash.

  • You have problems breathing.

  • You have any allergy problems.

  • You have more than a small spot of blood from beneath your cast or splint.

  • You have redness, puffiness (swelling), or more pain from beneath your cast or splint.

  • Yellowish white fluid (pus) comes from beneath your cast or splint.

  • You develop a temperature by mouth above 102° F (38.9° C), not controlled by medicne.

  • You have a bad smell coming from under your cast or splint.

  • You have problems moving any of your fingers.

If you do not have a window in your cast for looking at the wound, a fluid or a little bleeding may show up as a stain on the outside of your cast. Tell your doctor about any stains you see.

MAKE SURE YOU:

  • Understand these instructions.

  • Will watch your condition.

  • Will get help right away if you are not doing well or get worse.