Orthopedic Minute - Hand Fractures


Hi, I'm Dr. Ryan Calfee with Washington University Orthopedics. We see many patients with hand fractures at our Outpatient Center in Chesterfield as well as Barnes-Jewish Hospital. Patients with hand fractures often present with continued pain, swelling and bruising following an injury. Sometimes, if the fracture is actually out of place, people's hands will not close right and instead of making a full fist, an injured finger will cross over an adjacent finger.

We try to individualize our treatment of fractures on each patient. For teenagers, this will often mean a cast to protect the hand from being injured or hit at school. For the older individual with the same injury, we will treat them with a custom splint to begin early finger motions so that the hand does not get too stiff when there's pre-existing arthritis.

When fractures are out of place and need to be repaired, we will often perform surgery using either plates and screws or pins to restore the hand's function and as always, if hand or wrist pain persists for several days after injury, it is always important to seek medical attention.

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