Fingers General

What Can Cause a Sunken Knuckle?

An injury that was once known as a “boxer’s fracture” has steadily become a more prevalent injury – and not just among brawlers! Knuckle fractures are becoming more and more common, and it is important to be aware of treatment options should you ever experience one. One of the most common and often sure signs of a broken knuckle is the appearance of a sunken knuckle, which is exactly what it sounds like: with a closed fist, the broken knuckle has either completely disappeared or has literally sunken below the other knuckles of the hand.

The “sunken” appearance will often be accompanied by swelling and bruising, but the absence of any one or all of these other symptoms does not necessarily mean that the injury is less severe. It is always a good idea to have any persistent or severe discomfort examined by one of the hand specialists on our staff.

Despite the nickname, sunken knuckle metacarpal fractures can occur as a result of many things, not just outright punching or boxing. Any significant blunt force trauma may be enough to fracture such a complex and delicate joint, such as car accidents, sports trauma, and other injuries that may occur throughout your daily life. The knuckles on and closest to the pinky finger are the most likely to be fractured in accidents.

Leaving knuckle fractures untreated can lead to a host of problems down the road. Stiffness is one of the most common side effects associated with hand fractures and can often complicate everyday tasks including eating, writing, and driving. Without the proper treatment, you risk doing permanent damage to your bones and joints, which may require more invasive treatment in the future.

In treating a sunken or broken knuckle, patients may encounter many different options. In extreme cases, our surgeon may need to fully reconstruct the knuckle or install permanent metal plates. After initial treatment, we support patients through physical therapy and other rehabilitation services.

If you’re dealing with a sunken knuckle, don’t freak yourself out. There is hope available at Arora Hand Surgery, with offices in Howell, West Bloomfield, Warren, and Macomb Township. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn about your treatment options.