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Discharge advice: Following attendance with a hand (5th Metacarpal neck) fracture

Patient information A-Z

You have a minor break near the knuckle and it will usually settle in three weeks.

x-ray of a hand

What should I expect and what can I do to help my hand to heal?

It may take six weeks or longer before your hand returns to normal.

The finger strapping may help the pain and allow early movement.

Because the break can be close to the joint you must move your fingers and hand as soon as possible even if this means overcoming the discomfort.

After one week remove the strapping and use your hand as normally as possible. This will not cause further damage, but heavy lifting may be so re for six to eight weeks and it may take several months for the hand to feel normal again.

Hand grip is generally very good after this type of injury.

As the bone heals a lump will form at the break site and the knuckle will not be as prominent.

There will be shortening of the finger expected as a consequence of the injury.

Physiotherapy advice

This exercise might aid in maintaining the mobility of the affected limb. Perform this exercise within your pain limitations and do not force your joint through the movement.

Clenched fist

To help circulation, reduce swelling and to maintain the movement of the fingers regularly open and close your hand.

Contacts and further information

For any queries in relation to your injury of for further advise:

Please contact the Emergency department minor injuries extension

via the CUH main switch board number on 01223 245151 extension 3119 or contact the NHS service on 111.

We are smoke-free

Smoking is not allowed anywhere on the hospital campus. For advice and support in quitting, contact your GP or the free NHS stop smoking helpline on 0800 169 0 169.

Other formats

Help accessing this information in other formats is available. To find out more about the services we provide, please visit our patient information help page (see link below) or telephone 01223 256998.

Contact us

Cambridge University Hospitals
NHS Foundation Trust
Hills Road, Cambridge

Telephone +44 (0)1223 245151