The hand is one the best anatomical tools we have as a human, it is used frequently for countless daily activities, in work, sport and leisure. The function of our fingers often seems insignificant but a finger fractures can severely impair our daily activities and quality of life.
In Australia the most common work-related injury involved the hand or wrist, with 24% of finger injuries requiring hospitalisation. With improper treatment or complications, finger fractures can lead to poor hand function, chronic pain, stiffness and deformity. Finger fractures need to be treated quickly and efficiently with the help of a qualified Hand Therapists.
Where do finger fractures occur?
The human hand has 14 phalanges, which are bones extending from the metacarpal bones to the fingertips. Finger phalanges include the proximal, middle and distal phalanx.
A finger fracture can occur in any of these bones, at the distal, middle or proximal phalanx. Within the phalanx, fractures may be located in the neck, just below the head, along the shaft or at the base.
What are the different types of finger fractures?
A distal phalanx fracture or Tuft fracture is the most commonly fractured bone of the hand accounting for 50% of all hand fractures. This fracture often occurs when a finger is crushed, for example in the door or hit with a hammer.
A Mallet Finger avulsion fracture is frequently encountered in sport and is the result of forceful flexion or hyperextension of the DIP joint. This results in the inability to extend the finger tip without passively extending it.
Jersey finger is the avulsion of the FDP tendon at its insertion on the volar aspect of the distal phalanx base. This occurs by means of forceful extension of the finger during active flexion.
Volar Plate avulsion fracture occurs after hyperextension injury to the PIP joint and is often associated with a jarred or strain finger. When the volar plate is hyper extended, it may also pull off a small piece of bone.
Proximal Phalanx Injuries
Proximal Phalanx Fractures are classified by location, angulation, and displacement. Fractures of the proximal phalanx can be complex due to forces exerted on the fracture by muscles and tendons that can result in angulation or rotation.
Final thoughts on finger fractures
Though they may seem small and insignificant, our fingers play a big role in our lives. When we injure them, it can severely impair the activities we enjoy and make everyday tasks much more difficult. In Australia, finger fractures are one of the most common work-related injuries—24% of which require hospitalization.
If not properly treated, finger fractures can cause chronic pain, stiffness, deformity, and reduced hand function. That’s why it’s important to get quick and efficient treatment from a qualified Hand Therapist.
If you need urgent care for your finger fracture, Action Rehab can help. We provide comprehensive rehabilitation services that will reduce your pain and promote healing so you can get back to doing the things you love as soon as possible.
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