One of the most common injuries amongst boxers is a fracture to the neck of the 5th metacarpal bone following a direct punch.
Causes: An unlucky direct punch on to a firm object or an opponent during boxing is the most likely cause of a 5th metacarpal fracture.
Symptoms & Diagnosis: Pain is the immediate symptom of the injury along with possible deformity of the 5th knuckle. Such fracture normally results in a loss of prominence of the little finger knuckle. This may return to the normal knuckle state or remain at a loss depending on the extent of the injury. The fracture may result in malrotation of the little finger such that it overlaps the ring finger during a fist action. This may have a significant short and long term effect on grip strength.
Management: Early immobilisation for a period of time is recommended to stabilise the fracture to allow adequate healing and enable a full recovery. If the fracture involves the joint surface, advanced arthritis may develop in the region later on in life. Depending on the severity of the fracture, surgery may be required to fixate the broken bone to allow healing and prevent a permanent deformity and loss of movement. Once healing has been achieved, a graded physiotherapy and rehabilitation programme will assist the return to full function and sport.
Please feel free to contact the G4 Clinic to speak to a member of the team for any questions that you may have.