A fracture, also called a broken bone, often results from a high force or impact. A bone may be fractured completely or partially in several ways: crosswise, lengthwise and in multiple pieces. Most fractures are caused by trauma, but some can be the result of an underlying disease that increases the chance of fracture.
The Orthopaedic hand team at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) are experts at diagnosing and treating all types of fractures affecting the 27 bones of the hand and wrist. Many of these injuries can be treated without surgery. We offer a range of treatment options, including casts, splints and surgical procedures that use wires, pins, plates, and screws to stabilize and align bones.
Common types of fractures include:
Fractures can occur in virtually any area, including:
Fractures can be caused by a number of factors, including:
Symptoms can include:
Your orthopaedic surgeon will evaluate your medical history and may conduct a variety of tests to determine if you have a fracture:
Often, bones can be realigned without surgery. Non-surgical treatments include:
If non-surgical treatment does not relieve your symptoms, surgery may be recommended. Surgical approaches include:
The length of recovery varies for each injury and each individual. Fractures can take weeks to months to heal depending on the severity of the injury.
Physical therapists and occupational therapists can help speed your recovery through strength and flexibility exercises. Hand therapy is often recommended to regain the use of a hand following an upper extremity fracture.
Learn more about fractures - BWH Health Library
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