How does a fracture affect the hand?
A fracture is the same as a break in the bone. Fractures that happen in the hand will cause the area to have pain, stiffness, and possible loss of movement. Ligaments and tendons may also become stiff and weak after the fracture has healed. Hand fractures can also lead to early arthritis in the affected joint.
How is a hand fracture treated?
When a fracture occurs or is suspected, your plastic surgeon will recommend a series of x-rays to assess the location and type of fracture. Sometimes a splint or cast will help keep the fracture in line so it may heal. If a fracture is displaced, the bones may need to be held in place to heal. Your hand surgeon will find the appropriate fixation devices to ensure proper healing. Some of these devices may be internal (attached under the skin), including pins, plates, and screws, while others are external (attached over the skin), such as a cast. The fixation devices will be left in place until the bone has healed. If the bone is damaged past repair, a bone graft may be used from another area of the body.
What happens after a hand fracture?
During the healing process, it is not uncommon for a fracture callus or lump to occur over the site of the injury. This lump functions as a “spot weld” and will get smaller over time. Complications can occur with any injury during the healing process and may include stiffness, failure to heal, shift in position, infection or slow healing. The risk of complications can be decreased by carefully following your plastic surgeon’s advice throughout your healing process. Hand therapy may be recommended to help speed the healing process along. The Centre offers a comprehensive range of therapy services in our rehabilitation department.
Are there devices that will help my hand fracture to heal?
The Centre employs a device called the Bone Growth Stimulator, which uses CMF (Combining Magnetic Field) technology that stimulates bone cells at fracture sites. The result is an increase in the secretion of growth factors, which causes the production of connective tissue, which leads to the healing of the fracture. The unit is very easy to use with a one-button operation. Unlike other treatment units that require six hours of daily use, the Bone Growth Stimulator requires only 30 minutes of treatment per day.
For more information on reconstructive hand surgery, please contact our specialized staff at The Centre for Working Hands to schedule your consultation.