How to Treat a Broken Hand


How to Treat a Broken Hand. While bone fractures to the hand are quite common, they are often extremely painful and should not be taken lightly. Any injury to the hand should be immediately seen by a doctor, since the bones are so small and numerous, and nerves or blood vessels can be easily damaged.

Things You'll Need

  • Splint
  • Physician, such as an orthopedist
  • Ice packs

Treat a Broken Hand

Control any bleeding that may have been caused by the initial injury. Clean all wounds with alcohol or an antiseptic, and cover with a bandage or gauze.

Apply an ice pack to the injured area, taking care not to let the ice touch the skin by first wrapping the area with a clean cloth or towel. Placing the ice in a plastic bag is also recommended.

Seek medical assistance immediately. Use a pillow to cradle the injured hand if necessary, but make sure not to apply too much pressure.

Determine the extent of the injury by getting the hand X-rayed. Hand injuries are often complicated and may require some amount of time before a proper diagnosis is received. Usually, taking pain medication such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen is recommended while you wait.

Immobilize the hand through the use of a splint or bandage, depending upon the nature and location of the fracture. Casts are not generally used to treat a broken hand.

See a hand specialist, such as an orthopedic surgeon, if the break is severe enough to require therapy or even plastic surgery for a complete recovery.

Continue to apply ice packs once you have returned home in order to reduce the swelling. Take any pain medication prescribed by the doctor to help you feel comfortable.

Check out websites such as WebMD for additional tips and resources on how to properly treat a broken hand (see Resources below).

Follow up with your doctor at the prescribed period of time to determine of the hand healed properly, and if additional care of therapy is needed. Manual dexterity may be slow to return, so discuss any concerns you may have.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you suspect that you have broken your hand, immediately remove any jewelry, such as rings. If the area begins to swell, you may not be able to get the rings off, and they may impede blood circulation to the fingers.

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