A boxer’s fracture is a fracture (broken bone) of the hand. More specifically, it is a fracture of the neck of the fifth metacarpal (a bone in the “pinky finger") (Figure 1). It is referred to as a boxer’s fracture because, most commonly, it occurs when people punch something.
The most common cause of a boxer’s fracture is the force applied to the fifth metacarpal bone when the fist punches something while in a clenched position. Less commonly, this fracture may also occur from getting the hand crushed.
Most people with a boxer’s fracture have pain and swelling concentrated in the hand. The hand and finger may be crooked or deformed. The pinky finger may be difficult to straighten or sometimes can cross over the other fingers (Figure 2). There also may be difficulty moving the fingers, either with or without pain.
To determine if you have a fracture, your doctor will likely take an x-ray. Treatment varies depending on how far out of place the bone is located. If it is out of place too far, the doctor or provider may offer to push it back into place and cast it or may offer surgery.
© 2018American Society for Surgery of the Hand
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