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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
A hand fracture is a break in one of the bones in your hand. Your hand is made up of bones called phalanges and metacarpals. Phalanges are bones of the fingers. Metacarpals are bones that make up your knuckles and connect to your wrist.
WHILE YOU ARE HERE:
is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that you may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done. Make sure all your questions are answered.
- Pain medicine: You may be given a prescription medicine to decrease pain. Do not wait until the pain is severe before you ask for more medicine.
- Antibiotics: This medicine is given to help treat or prevent an infection caused by bacteria.
- Tetanus shot: This is a shot of medicine to prevent you from getting tetanus. You may need this if you have breaks in your skin from your injury. You should have a tetanus shot if you have not had one in the past 5 to 10 years.
Treatment depends on which bone in your hand was broken and what kind of fracture you have. You may need any of the following treatments:
- Brace, cast, or splint: A brace, cast, or splint may be used to decrease your hand movement. These work to hold the broken bones in place, decrease pain, and prevent further damage to your hand.
- Finger strapping: If you have a broken finger, it may be strapped or taped to the finger next to it. This can help provide support, limit motion, and decrease stiffness.
- Surgery: If you have an open fracture, you may need debridement before your surgery. This is when your caregiver removes damaged and infected tissue and cleans your wound. Debridement is done to help prevent infection and improve healing.
- External fixation: In this surgery, screws may be put through your skin and into your broken bones. The screws will be secured to a device outside of your hand. External fixation holds your bones together so they can heal. It is often done if you have severe tissue damage or many injuries.
- Open reduction and internal fixation: Your caregiver will make an incision in your hand to straighten your broken bones. He will use screws and a metal plate, nails, or wires to hold your broken bones together. This surgery will allow your bones to grow back together.
- Pin fixation: With this surgery, metal pins will be used to straighten the broken bones in your hand. The pins will hold the broken pieces of bone together. Your caregiver will place the pins through your skin and into your bone using a small drill.
- Bone graft: A bone graft is a piece of bone taken from another area of your body. It may be needed to replace lost bone from your fracture. The bone graft may also be from a donor (another person). The graft is put into spaces between or around the broken bones in your hand. This surgery may help your bones heal and keep their strength.
- You may have numbness or weakness in your hand from surgery. After surgery, you may have pain, tightness, or your hand may not work as well as it did before your injury. Screws, nails, or pins used during your surgery may come loose, and you may need another surgery. You may get an infection. You may get a blood clot in your arm. The clot may travel to your heart or brain and cause life-threatening problems, such as a heart attack or stroke.
- Without treatment, your broken hand may not heal. If your fracture heals on its own, your hand may be deformed. You may not be able to move your hand as well as you did before your injury. You may have pain and weakness in your hand. You also may lose feeling in your hand. You may have tissue damage, and you may get an infection.
CARE AGREEMENT:You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.