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An In Depth Look At The Top 5 Boxing Injuries



What is Boxers Fracture?

A 'Boxers Fracture' is a break in the hand at the "neck" (just below the knuckle) of either the fourth or fifth metacarpal (ring or little finger). It gets its name because this injury commonly occurs when punching an immovable object with a closed fist. However, some doctors may also include fractures to the second and third metacarpal.

Symptoms of 'Boxers Fracture' could include, but are not exclusive to:

  • Instant pain coupled with hand swelling
  • An area on the hand which is tender to the touch
  • Difficulty moving the affected fingers
  • Discolouration of the skin and/or bruising

Interesting Fact: Boxers Fracture occurs in about 20 per cent of patients that punch a hard object.



A Guide to Fractures & Broken Bones



What can you do to prevent Boxers Fracture?

For boxers learning to punch correctly is the key to safe long term healthy hands. Bone density is another key factor and as we age the body will naturally decrease in size and strength so a healthy active lifestyle with adequate dairy products or calcium supplements will help.


What should you do if you suffer from Boxers Fracture?

Immediately look to seek medical attention where an X-Ray can confirm the diagnosis. If the bone is still aligned then the finger may be immobilised within a cast or a splint to allow the bone to heal. If the bone is misaligned then the finger may need to be set and held in place with pins which requires surgery.

Patients can expect healing time to take between six to 10 weeks but this is quite often determined by age and sport. For swelling and pain ice therapy can be used in the form of a cold compress coupled with elevation.

The long term prognosis of 'Boxers Fracture' is good although one may suffer a slight decrease in grip strength, but this is not clinically significantly. To promote finger strength and dexterity products such as hand strengtheners and hand therapy balls are recommended.



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