Dr. Steven Rueda is one of the most sought after doctors for hand fractures in Palm Beach. Hand fractures are injuries that result from breaking of the bones in the hands and fingers. The fractures are most common in young active patients, industrial laborers, and older age groups with osteoporosis.
Hand Fractures Symptoms and Diagnosis
The symptoms arising from hand and finger fractures are caused by motion at the site of the fracture from raw bone ends. Any activity that causes these bones to move leads to increased pain. There is also inflammation and bruising of the soft tissue in the hands and fingers that contributes to pain.
Some of the most common symptoms include:
- Pain in the hand and fingers with bending up or down
- Swollen and puffy hands and fingers
- Cracking and popping when moving the hands and fingers
- Decreased range of motion of the hands and fingers
In some cases patients present with all of the symptoms, and in some cases only with some of them. Other conditions like a finger sprain can cause similar findings.
The diagnosis of hand and finger fracture is usually performed by clinical examination, history, and xray imaging. In some cases, advanced imaging like CT scan may be indicated but this is unusual.
WHAT CAUSES Hand Fractures?
The hand and fingers have a total of 19 bones; these are the metacarpals and phalanx. Any of these bones can be broken in hand and finger fractures. The goal of treatment is to allow the bones to heal to achieve pain free and mobile hand and fingers.
Hand Fractures Treatment Options
There are two main ways to treat finger fractures: casts and surgery. Fractures are classified as “stable” or “unstable”. Stable fractures are those in which the broken bone is in a good position, or at low risk from moving from its good position. Unstable fractures are those in which the broken bone is in a bad position, or at high risk of moving to a bad position. Stable fractures are treated with casting and splinting, while unstable fractures are treated with surgery. In some cases, a fracture that appeared stable and was treated with a cast may start to move from its position. In these cases, surgery may be considered as well. Sometimes stable finger fractures are treated with surgery in cases where the patient needs faster recovery or return to sports.
Hand Fractures Procedure
Surgery can fix fractures with many different types of methods: plates and screws, wires, and pins. The goal of surgery is to use the methods that allows the bone to remain in place and the patient to move their joints the fastest possible.
Incisions for hand and finger fractures procedures are highly variable; its best to discuss the independent procedure with Dr. Rueda at the time of your visit so you know the location, length, and details of the operation. In some cases the fractures may be treated using stainless steel K-wires placed through the skin with no need to make incisions. However, those that require incisions are usually located in one of the areas shown below:
RECOVERY AND DOWNTIME
Very dependent on the type of fractures. Most fractures take 4-6 weeks to heal, however, this can vary widely depending on how bad the injury was and patient specific factors. Immobilization rarely exceeds the 3 week mark for finger fractures to avoid developing stiffness in the joints.
The downtime is dependent on the type of fracture but also on patient occupation. In some cases patients return to work after 1 week if they can work on a cast. In any case, any activity that may cause further injury to the extremity is avoided until it is fully healed.
Why Choose Precision Hand Center for your Hand Fractures Procedure?
Dr. Rueda, a Hand Fellowship trained surgeon who has 7 years and 2,000 procedures of experience will be your safe and best choice for hand fracture treatment. Successful results in these procedures require a surgeon that is experienced and knowledgeable in wrist surgery and wrist anatomy. Dr. Rueda has published articles in expert peer reviewed journals and his work has been presented in several national conferences. Dr. Rueda’s passion for patient education and custom centered approach will guarantee you feel comfortable every step of the way. Dr. Rueda also believes in treating his patients as if he was treating his own family; you can trust you will enter a trusting and long-term relationship and have some of the best hand fracture treatment Palm Beach can offer.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ)
No! It is important to see the Hand Surgeon within the first week of the fracture. When fractures are older than 2 weeks the bones may have started to heal in the wrong position making the surgery longer, more difficulty, and with a lower success rate.
Casting is only advised for patients who have stable finger fractures or those unable to have surgery for severe health reasons. The cast or splint is kept for a short period of time to prevent joint stiffness, a common problem in finger fractures.