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Broken Hand - Symptoms and Treatment of Broken Hand

A broken bone is a painful affair. But a bruise or sprain can also cause severe pain. For the layman, a broken hand is not always immediately recognizable, because you can still move it even if it breaks. If the hand is badly injured, first aid is very important because it can prevent worse. After that, medical help should be sought as soon as possible.

Metacarpal fracture symptoms

If the hand is broken, one speaks of a so-called metacarpal fracture. This can also happen in the event of a fall, but also an impact. It doesn't matter whether you fall or accidentally hit something with your hand and an impact occurs - a break can happen quickly.

The hand is made up of five metacarpal bones. The fingers, which consist of a total of 14 bones, are connected to these bones. If one of the metacarpal bones is broken, then there is a broken hand. The symptoms are the same for almost all those affected:

  • clearly visible swelling
  • Pain on the move
  • Tenderness
  • Restriction of movement
  • Unnatural shape
  • Misalignment of the joints

Even if one or more metacarpal bones or perhaps fingers are broken, the hand may still be able to move. However, as the swelling increases over time, movement becomes severely restricted and the pain increases. In many cases, there is also an injury to the skin and soft tissues in the event of a broken hand.

Hand broken - what to do?

If a broken hand is suspected, a brief check-up can be carried out at home. The individual hand bones are very carefully scanned from bottom to top. You can do this by gently stroking the bone with two fingers. The individual finger bones can also be scanned by moving the thumb and index finger of the healthy hand from bottom to top along the bone. If shifts can be felt, this can be a sign of a break. In no case should you try to straighten the bones yourself. Blood vessels and nerves in the vicinity could be injured.

Broken hand - first aid

It is important not to aggravate the fracture. Therefore, the injured hand should be immobilized as soon as possible. However, since those affected usually experience great pain with a fracture, this is not always that easy. However, immobilization should be achieved with a few gentle movements:

Broken finger: Use a bandage to fix the broken finger to the finger next to it. This gives the broken limb support and the hand can be immobilized. Then a wet compress should be applied to cool, as this also slows down the swelling.

Hand fracture: In the case of a metacarpal fracture, a tennis ball can be placed in the palm of the hand and then a loose bandage applied. If the break is too painful, a cold compress will provide relief.

In order to protect the broken hand on the way to the hospital, a triangular handkerchief in which the arm can be placed helps.

Put on splint - wrist broken

Applying a splint is very painful. In order not to aggravate the fracture, only a doctor should do this. However, if the wrist is broken, a splint can be made from various utensils. This supports the affected joint while driving to the emergency room. The break point can be covered with a soft material, such as some foam or a stocking. Then simple aids such as two sticks, a ruler or the like can be attached as a splint with a gauze bandage. On the one hand, the fracture site is well protected and, on the other hand, the immobilized joint can no longer be moved, which prevents vascular injuries.

  • Cover the break with soft material
  • Use rulers or sticks for railing
  • Fix with a gauze bandage

If the fracture is open, the affected area must be covered immediately with a sterile compress. These should be available in every medicine cabinet and can also be found in the vehicle first-aid kit.

Wrist: Break or Bruise?

It is not always possible to tell immediately whether there is a break or a bruise. Often this can only be determined by an X-ray in the hospital. Symptoms for a bruise or a wrist sprain are:

  • Redness
  • swelling
  • Movement and pressure pain
  • general pain in the affected area
  • and later a bruise

First aid - PECH

Bad luck is a simple word that can be used as a guide for those providing first aid for a broken hand. The PECH scheme helps first aiders because it shows step by step how the injured person should be cared for:

  1. Break (immobilize the affected and adjacent joints)
  2. ice (cool the injured area)
  3. Compression (Pressure or pressure bandage using bandages or gauze bandages)
  4. Elevate (elevate the affected joint)

If the unlucky scheme is over, medical help must be sought immediately.

Hand broken - plaster of paris or splint

If the hand is broken, an X-ray can confirm the broken hand diagnosis. In this case, the doctor will first prescribe and put on a splint. The splint is made of a hard material and is padded on the inside. It is applied to the broken area with clips or bandages. The broken hand is completely immobilized and the splint can be adjusted again and again with the help of the bandages. This is especially important in the first week, because the break is severely swollen and can only be fixed with a plaster of paris when the swelling has receded.

If the swelling has subsided after an average of one week, a plaster cast can be applied. As a rule, this has to be worn for three to four weeks, because only then has the fracture healed. If the swelling has not subsided, a fiberglass bandage can also be applied. This supports and stabilizes the fracture just like a plaster cast, but can be renewed and readjusted more easily.

Relieve pain after a fracture

If the pain is too severe, the doctor will prescribe an appropriate medication. In addition, the affected region can be cooled. Elevating the affected joints is also helpful. Swelling can also be reduced if the hand is held above the heart. As a rule, this relieving posture helps very well if it is taken for at least 48 hours. During the day, the arm can lie in a triangular scarf, while pillows and the like provide support at night.