Boxer’s Fracture

(Fifth Metacarpal Fracture)

Definition

Boxer's fracture is a common name for a fracture of the long bone that connects the little finger to the wrist. The types of boxer's fractures are:
  • Nondisplaced—the bone is broken, but remains in place
  • Displaced—ends of the bone are separated from one another
  • Comminuted—the bone is broken into several pieces
Fractures may either be:
  • Closed—the fracture does not break the skin
  • Open—the fracture breaks through the skin
Bones in the Hand
Bones in the Hand
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

Causes

Boxer's fracture can be caused by:
  • Punching another person or object, such as a wall, with a closed fist
  • Falls
  • Playing certain sports
  • Squeezing or crushing of the hand

Risk Factors

Boxer's fractures are more common in men. Other factors that may increase your risk of a boxer's fracture include:
  • Being prone to angry outbursts or fighting
  • Participating in certain sports, such as boxing or football
  • Increased age
  • Osteoporosis
  • Certain diseases or conditions that result in bone or mineral loss, such as abnormal or absent menstrual cycles, or post- menopause
  • Certain diseases and conditions that weaken bones, such as tumors or cysts
  • Decreased muscle mass
  • Exposure to violence

Symptoms

A boxer's fracture may cause:
  • Swelling
  • Pain
  • Deformity
  • Lack of movement
  • Depressed knuckle

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