Boxer fracture and physical therapy

A boxer fracture is a break in one of the bones of your hand; mostly the fifth or fourth metacarpal bone is affected in this condition. In very rare cases a break in the first or second metacarpal can be termed as a boxer fracture.


One of the main causes of a boxer fracture is a sudden blow to the hand or punching something with all four when your wrist is closed. It can also be due to FOOSH injury which is the trauma that occurs when you fall with your hands stretched. Learn more.


The most common features by which a boxer fracture can be identified are

  • Pain in your hand
  • Pain in the Pinky finger on near the Pinky finger
  • Swelling in the lateral side of your hand and rarely on the other side
  • Decrease range of motion in your pinky finger or the areas adjacent to the Pinky finger
  • Discoloration of your hand
  • Bruising of your hand
  • Displacement of your knuckles

Most commonly you can feel a sharp pain in your hand after a boxer fracture In this case immediately seek medical care so they can treat your injury. If the injury is not treated properly then it can lead to permanent loss of function of fingers.
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How can a physical therapist help?

Your injury will be covered by a cast or a splint for 4 to 6 weeks. After 4 to 6 weeks the rehabilitation process will start and a physical therapist plays the main rehabilitation of a boxer fracture. As your hand is in caring time and muscular dystrophy may occur and you also suffer from other decreased range of motion disabled may become disable to move your hands properly so a physical therapist will primarily focus on

  • Decreasing pain
  • Decreasing swelling
  • Increasing range of motion
  • Increasing strength

Electrical stimulation may be used to reduce the pain and swelling as well. Stitching exercises are used for increasing the flexibility of the hand and achieving the maximum range of motion exercises are performed to remove the r strength of the hand


A splint or cast only help to repair your injury they do not play any role in increasing the strength or achieving the range of motion and decreasing pain and swelling a physical therapist is the person who can help you to reissues all these issues after fracture so make sure you consult an expert physical therapist and regularly take your sessions

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