Fifth metacarpal fracture (Folder)

Chirurgie Orthopedie Spoedeisende Hulp / Spoedpost
Michelangelolaan 2
5623 EJ Eindhoven
040 - 239 91 11
Catharina een Santeon ziekenhuis

Fifth metacarpal fracture (Folder)

You have a minor fracture near the knuckle of your fifth finger (fifth metacarpal fracture). This fracture is treated with tape and a pressure bandage.

Metacarpal fracture

 Summary

  • You have a fracture in the metacarpal bone of your little finger (pinky).
  • This type of injury almost always heals well without any loss of function.
  • A routine follow-up is not necessary for this type of injury.
  • You can remove the pressure bandage in the first week as soon as your pain allows you to do this. You can remove the buddy tape after the first and before the third week if your pain allows you to do this.
  • To prevent the finger from getting stiff, it is important that you start moving your finger as soon as the pain allows you to do this.
  • You can find exercises for your finger in this folder or in the app in the App store (iPhone) or Google Store (Android). See QR-code for more information online.
  • If you have any questions, or are experiencing problems with your recovery, you can call the “breuklijn” (fracture hotline) (+31) 040 239 96 40 on workdays between 9.00 and 12.00.

Treatment

A fracture of the fifth metacarpal is a common injury. The fracture is treated with tape (buddy tape) and a pressure bandage for extra support.

Time Treatment
0-1 week Remove pressure bandage as soon as your pain allows this.
Keep wearing the buddy tape.
1-3 weeks Remove the buddy tape as soon as your pain allows this.
3-6 weeks Start moving your hand.
After 6 weeks Start sports.

Instructions

Follow these instructions for a good recovery.

  • Use your hand as you normally would if your pain allows you to do this, even when wearing the tape and pressure bandage.
  • You can remove the pressure bandage as soon as your pain allows you to do this.
  • You have to wear the buddy tape for at least a week. After one week you can remove the buddy tape when your pain allows you to do this. Wear the buddy tape for a maximum of 3 weeks.
  • Use a new pressure bandage and tape when you think this is necessary. You can buy new materials at the pharmacy or re-use the materials you got at the Emergency Department. You can find instructions on how to apply the pressure bandage in the app.
  • The fracture is close to your joint. Start moving the hand to prevent your hand from getting stiff as soon as your pain allows you to do this. You can find exercises in the app or in this information folder.
  • After 6 weeks you can start sports again, if the pain allows. Do you practice martial arts? Then wait another 2-4 weeks before starting again.
  • Are you in pain? Use a mild pain killer such as paracetamol (acetaminophen). Do not wait with the use of paracetamol until the pain is too much.

Recovery

  • This fracture almost always heals well with time and use – no specific treatment is required and routine follow-up is unnecessary. It can take 6 weeks before you are able to use the hand.
  • As the bone heals a lump will form at the fracture site and the knuckle will not be as prominent. This is normal, and unlikely to affect the function of your hand.
  • Physiotherapy is not necessary. If you are not satisfied with the function of your hand after 6 weeks, you can contact a physiotherapist.
  • Does the pain increase, or does it not improve? Please contact the “Breuklijn” (fracture hotline, see below).

Reapply pressure bandage and buddytape

If you need to reapply the pressure bandage and buddytape, please find instructions in the app. You can buy new materials at the pharmacy or reapply the pressure bandage that was applied in Emergency Department.

Fifth metacarpal fracture exercises

After a fracture of the fifth metacarpal, stiffness and loss of strength can occur. The exercises below can be performed to support your recovery.

Instructions

Follow the instructions below:

  • Practice at least 3 times a day and repeat each exercise 10 times
  • You can continuously increase the force and load.
  • You can perform the exercises in warm water and with aids, such as a stress ball.
  • Use your hand as normal as possible, this also exercises the finger(s).

Massage the fingers
You should start with a massage of the fingers. If you have (healed) scars, you can also massage them gently.

Bend and straighten the fingers
Bend and straighten your fingers so you feel a mild to moderate stretch. Do not push into pain. You can start this exercise as soon as the pain allows you to do this. You can start with bending and stretching the fingers with the help of your other hand. See the image below.

Then you can bend and stretch your fingers without the help of your other hand. See images below.

Questions? Please call us!

If there are any questions after reading the information, please contact the Breuklijn at 040 239 96 40 between 09.00 and 12.00.

In case of an emergency or problems that cannot wait until the next weekday, please contact our emergency department at 040 – 239 96 00

Contact

Catharina Ziekenhuis Eindhoven
040 – 239 91 11
www.catharinaziekenhuis.nl

Breuklijn (Fracture hotline)
(+31) 040 239 96 40 (on workdays 9.00 – 12.00h)

Route numbers and other information about our emergengy department can be found at: www.catharinaziekenhuis.nl/spoedeisende-hulp

App Virtual Fracture Care

In our app you can find more information about your injury. You can also find exercises here to improve your recovery. You can find the app in the Appstore (iPhone) and in the Google Store (Android).

You can also scan the QR-code. You will then automatically be directed to the app.

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