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Tag: Broken Knuckle

Fingers General

What Causes Broken Knuckles and How to Treat Them

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The pain, swelling, and stiffness of a broken knuckle is something many people have experienced, but they then played tough and allowed the injury to heal on its own. Most likely, that decision led to everlasting regret, as a broken bone that is allowed to heal without proper treatment may lead to malformation of that finger.

Although a misshapen finger is relatively minor in the grand scheme of life, it’s still not pleasant to see. More importantly, the muscles and bones will not function the way they were supposed to, possibly leading to minor pain and awkward movements forever.

Do yourself a favor and seek treatment if you experience a broken knuckle in order to avoid possible deformity and unnecessary challenges.

Common Causes of Broken Knuckles

Two of the most common types of hand fractures are phalanges fractures and metacarpal fractures. Phalanges fractures occur in the 14 smaller bones of the fingers. The thumb contains two phalanges, while the other fingers contain three each. Metacarpal fractures are a break in one or more of the five long metacarpal bones of the fingers.

According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, metacarpal fractures comprise between 18 percent and 44 percent of all hand fractures. Non-thumb metacarpals account for about 88 percent of all metacarpal fractures, with the fifth finger most commonly involved.

Punching something or someone is the most common cause of broken knuckles, which is why athletes who enjoy boxing are encouraged to wrap their hands or use boxing gloves. In fact, broken knuckles are so common in this sport that an injury of the pinky is sometimes referred to as a “boxer’s fracture.”

In addition to participating in sports or other exercises, common causes of broken knuckles include:

  • jamming the finger in a door, window, or tool
  • slamming your hand against a hard surface
  • falling
  • injuring your finger at the workplace, especially in fields requiring skilled labor
A broken knuckle should be treated as soon as possible. If not, the break may heal incorrectly, causing a deformity of the finger.
A broken knuckle should be treated as soon as possible. If not, the break may heal incorrectly, causing a deformity of the finger.

Hand Fracture Treatment

Treatment of broken knuckles or fractured knuckles typically involves realigning the bone by stabilizing it, although the location and extent of the fracture will determine the course of treatment. A common way to do so is to advise the patient to wear a splint or brace until the injury heals.

Surgery is another option, including in cases where an injury has healed improperly and realignment is required. You may require surgery if:

  • Your metacarpal bones are broken and misaligned
  • Your fingers do not align correctly
  • The fracture has broken through the skin
  • The pain gradually worsens

If you have experienced a hand fracture, Dr. Arora will take several steps to gauge the extent of the injury, including:

  • testing the motion and sensitivity in the fingers
  • assessing if there is any significant loss of finger length or loss of the normal alignment of the fingers
  • checking sensitivity to touch to determine if there is nerve damage
  • having an X-ray taken to analyze the extent and location of the fracture

If you have experienced a broken knuckle or other hand fracture, Dr. Arora will help determine the best course of treatment for you. Make an appointment through his website or by calling one of his offices, located in West Bloomfield, Howell, Warren, and Macomb Township.

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Fingers General

Broken Knuckle vs. Fractured Knuckle

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Knuckles are joints essential to the function of our fingers and hands.  They are the point where the phalanx bone of a finger meets with the metacarpal bone of the hand.  Each hand has five knuckle joints and twice as many knuckle bones.  It is rare that knuckles break or fracture, but not impossible.  They become vulnerable when the hand is clenched, and the fist is used to hit a hard surface.  If you are concerned, you may be dealing with a broken or fractured knuckle.

What Can Cause a Broken or Fractured Knuckle?

Impact on a hard surface is the main reason a knuckle may be fractured or broken.  With fractures, it is most common that the knuckle closest to the little finger is injured.  Breaks and fractures rarely happen in multiples.  However, the greater the trauma, the greater the chance of multiple injuries.  Examples of situations that can lead to broken or fractured knuckles are:

  • Fighting
  • Work accidents
  • Auto accidents
  • Sport injuries

What are Symptoms of a Fractured or Broken Knuckle?

If you have broken or fractured your knuckle, there will be a great deal of discomfort.  Your ability to perform daily activities will be affected.  If you have the following symptoms, it is likely you have a fractured or broken a knuckle:

  • Numbness
  • Pain following trauma
  • Trouble forming a fist
  • Stiffness
  • Swelling that affects the use of your hand
  • Bruising

Diagnosing a Broken or Fractured Knuckle

Broken knuckles are easily identified because of the excruciating pain you will immediately feel following the injury.  When we diagnose broken or fractured knuckles, we check for visual signs consistent with trauma.  Pressure touch will result in severe pain if the injury is present.  We may also use an X-ray or CT scan to pinpoint the exact location and severity of a fracture.

How are These Injuries Treated?

The treatment of a fracture or break of the knuckle depends on whether the knuckle has been displaced.  A non-displaced injury can sometimes be treated conservatively.  However, a displaced injury that has separated or fractured a segment of the bone will require surgery.

It is always best to try to avoid injury to the knuckles.  Avoid striking objects with your closed fist or breaking your fall with outstretched arms.  If you feel you may have broken or fractured your knuckle, make an appointment at Arora Hand Surgery in Warren, Macomb, West Bloomfield, or Howell. Contact us today to book your consultation.

Fingers General

How to Treat a Broken Knuckle

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You use your hands all day long. It is likely that you will eventually injure your fingers. If that injury results in a broken knuckle, it’s good to know how to treat a broken knuckle. The treatment provided will vary depending on a number of factors. These include how the knuckle was broken, how old you are when the break occurs, what you do for work, and how functional you need your fingers to be.

The most common option for treating a broken knuckle is called knuckle strapping. As the name implies, this treatment involves connecting the damaged finger to a healthy finger using tape or a strap. The two fingers are strapped together for multiple weeks or more.

There are some instances where strapping is not a practical option. In these cases, splints or a cast may be used. But in some cases, the break is so serious that a more complicated remedy is needed. This is where surgery comes into the picture.

There are a number of options for fixing broken knuckles. Just as an example, metal bars may be placed between pins with the goal of keeping the bone and any bone fragments in a fixed position during the healing process.

Your knuckles are complicated. They are designed to provide flexibility, stability, and strength. Therefore, it is understandable that some complications may arise during and after the recovery process. The most common complication is stiffness. While your knuckle heels, your finger will be stiff.

The worst thing you could do is leave a broken knuckle untreated. If left to heal on its own, your knuckle will heal in an unnatural position that will further minimize flexibility, minimize strength, leave your finger looking deformed, and leave you with pain. If you have a broken knuckle, don’t delay. Make an appointment at Arora Hand Surgery, located in Howell, Macomb, West Bloomfield, and Warren, to learn about your treatment options. Contact us today to book your consultation.

Fingers General

How Can I Tell If I Have a Broken Knuckle?

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Your knuckles are an essential part of your hand. They are what give your fingers their dexterity and their ability to move. But as strong and vital your knuckles are, they can still be broken. As you can imagine, having a broken knuckle is not an enjoyable experience. It comes with several different symptoms, such as pain and swelling. A broken knuckle limits your finger’s mobility and prevents you from carrying out a lot of your daily activities.

Most people break their knuckles when they punch something, usually a hard surface. The symptoms associated with a broken knuckle are very similar to those associated with other injuries that you have in your hand.

For many people, the first sign of a broken knuckle is pain. The pain is instant, and it is severe. Contrary to what some believe, you might still be able to bend a broken knuckle. You might even be able to bend it without increasing the pain, but this does not mean that it is not broken. Depending on the location of the break, pain might increase as you try to move the broken knuckle.

The next symptom you are going to experience is swelling. Most people say that their hand starts to swell around 10 minutes after they break their knuckle. As the swelling increases, your ability to move your hand drastically decreases. Interestingly, you may notice that other fingers also begin to swell, not simply the one that is broken.

The next indication is bruising. The level of bruising will depend on the severity of the break. In many cases, you will see bruising almost instantaneously. This is because there is a rapid loss of blood in the area around the knuckle, which shows up as a bruise.

You will probably notice that your hand goes numb as the swelling increases. This is your body’s natural response to the injury. At a certain point, the swelling in your hand may get so severe that the nerves in your fingers become compressed, and any sensation disappears.

There will be visual clues that you have broken your knuckle as well. For example, if you make a fist, you may not be able to see your knuckle because it broken. The lack of swelling and the pain may make you think that your knuckle is not broken, but if it is sunken in, this is a sure sign that it is.

One of the biggest problems after having a broken knuckle is stiffness. Your knuckle is a very complicated joint, and it might not heal entirely. There is also the possibility of an infection after breaking a bone.

We offer many different types of effective surgeries designed to treat a broken knuckle. If you feel you may have a broken knuckle, visit Arora Hand Surgery for an official examination. Dr. Arora will help you explore all of your treatment options and develop a plan tailored just for you. To get help healing a broken knuckle safely and effectively, call our office in West Bloomfield, Howell, Warren, or Macomb to schedule your consultation.

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Dr. Aroras office from my first call to schedule my appointment was friendly. Walking in the first day, I felt like I was in a nice atmosphere. Dr. Arora was EXCELLENT in taking great care of my hand injury. He was gentle and very understanding to the concerns I had about my hand. His expertise was admirable and I would recommend anyone with an injury to their hand to his office to be under his care. Because of him, I have healed faster than expected and will make an 100% recovery! Thank you Dr.

Jackie S.

I first thought I was going to have to have painful injections or surgery, but Dr. Arora suggested physical therapy may do the trick. I was doubtful, but I agreed to do it. Now, my pain is gone, and with the help of an ergonomic keyboard at work to keep my hands in the correct position, I am virtually pain free. The therapy strengthened my wrists and shoulders, and built more flexibility into my wrists.

Jerry T.

My experience with this doctor was positive from the outset. Dr. Arora was kind and spent a great deal of time with me. Staff was friendly. The office was nice and bright.

Ariel G.

Very friendly and helpful Great staff!!! Doctor Arora was very professional and did great work. I was very happy with everything!

L B.