Metacarpal Fracture and Dislocation Follow-up

Updated: Sep 07, 2018
  • Author: David R Steinberg, MD; Chief Editor: Craig C Young, MD  more...
  • Print
Follow-up

Return to Play

The patient recovering from a metacarpal fracture and/or dislocation may be able to return to nonstrenuous activities at 6-8 weeks. Unprotected participation in contact sports should be avoided for 3 months.

Next:

Complications

See the list below:

  • Painful or prominent hardware may need to be removed after the metacarpal fracture has fully healed.

  • Angular or rotational malunions that substantially affect hand function may be treated with osteotomy.

  • Nonunions are rare. Patients who desire to avoid surgery can try using external bone-growth stimulators. Definitive treatment usually consists of surgical take-down of the nonunion, followed by stabilization and bone grafting.

  • Posttraumatic arthritis may occur after any intra-articular injury.

    • Conservative treatment consists of joint protection, activity modification, and judicious use of corticosteroid injections.

    • Standard pharmacologic treatment for arthritis may also be considered.

    • Relatively severe cases may require surgery, including osteotomy, arthroplasty, or arthrodesis.

Previous
Next:

Prevention

Hand injuries are difficult to completely prevent in active individuals, particularly those involved in high-risk contact sports. Buddy-taping of previously injured fingers may help prevent further fractures and dislocations.

Previous
Next:

Prognosis

After an appropriate period for healing and rehabilitation, most patients regain relatively normal use of the hand. Some residual stiffness or weakness is not entirely unusual.

Previous