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What Is a Bennett’s Fracture?

What Is a Bennett’s Fracture?

Named after surgeon Edward Hallaran Bennett, Bennett’s fracture is a break and dislocation of the lower part of the first metacarpal bone, which is at the base of the thumb just above the wrist. There are multiple causes, symptoms, and complications of a Bennett’s Fracture, as well as several methods of treatment depending on its severity. Here are a few ways to help you identify a Bennett’s fracture and how to recover from such a thumbs down injury.

Common Causes of Bennett’s Fractures 

Bennet fractures occur when the thumb experiences enough force for it to bend, break, and dislocate. Athletes, such as boxers, football or rugby players, and martial artists, are more prone to Bennett’s fracture due to how often they encounter direct contact to a bent thumb. While such sports often cause the break, falls and accidents can also lead to a Bennet’s fracture.

Bennett’s Fracture Symptoms and Diagnosis

Swelling, pain, and loss of regular movement in the thumb are typical Bennett’s Fracture symptoms. Bruising and numbness are also common. A break and dislocation can be diagnosed after a doctor examines your hand with an X-ray. Your doctor can also use a computed tomography (CT) scan for a more detailed read on the fracture.

Treatment for Bennett’s Fracture 

The diagnosis will determine severity of the injury and the type of treatment needed. If a fracture didn’t cause too severe of a displacement between the joints, a closed reduction may be recommended by your doctor. The procedure doesn’t require surgery and involves bones being reset back into place from the outside. For a more severe break to heal, an open reduction may be needed, which requires surgery to realign the bones using pins and screws.

After the bones are realigned, a cast or splint will keep your bones in place for proper healing. Medication, as well as additional icing and elevation, will help with the pain and swelling. Towards the end of your treatment, stretching or strengthening exercises can help you regain thumb movement and dexterity.

How to Avoid Bennett’s Fracture Recovery Complications

If your Bennett’s fracture was misdiagnosed, poorly treated, or if realignment was neglected, you might experience increased pain, stiffness, weakness, and even arthritis over time. To ensure you recover quickly and properly from a Bennett’s fracture, rely on the experts at Orthopaedic Associates of St. Augustine.

Our team of experienced orthopaedic professionals can provide specialized treatment and recovery options to help you regain full mobility and return to a pain-free lifestyle. If you’ve experienced a thumb injury or another type of orthopaedic ailment, call us at 904-825-0540 or visit us online to schedule an appointment with one of our orthopaedic specialists.

Alexander Lampley, MD
Board Certified by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery.