Broken Knuckle: Causes, Treatments, Diagnosis and Symptoms

Broken Knuckle Overview

A broken knuckle can be a painful hand injury more especially if you sustained a displaced fracture. Recovery tends to be long and problematic leaving you with weakened fingers. You could be entitled to free private treatment and physiotherapy which could help speed up your broken knuckle recovery.

Broken knuckle

Broken knuckle

You can sustain a fractured knuckle in a variety of ways and treatment, as previously touched upon can be challenging if the fracture is complex or displaced. It is essential to have a correct diagnosis of your injury as soon as possible, not only because you would need effective pain relief but also to set in place a treatment that would stabilise any damage that has occurred to the bones in your hand. The prognosis for a fractured knuckle would depend on the extent of your injury although you may find that you lose some movement in your fingers which could make carrying out everyday chores that much harder. This is why physiotherapy aftercare is so important when it comes to a broken knuckle injury.

If you would like to find out more about fractured knuckles, the causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment and whether you would qualify for free private treatment, physiotherapy and medical aids, all of which could help speed up your broken knuckle recovery safely, please click on the Select a Section below.

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What is a Broken Knuckle?

A broken knuckle is a painful injury that negatively impacts the bones that make up your knuckles. The injury is also often referred to as a metacarpal fracture and it occurs when any of the five metacarpal bones that connect to your fingers to those found in your wrist are damaged. Each of these metacarpal bones have the same structure being the base, the shaft, the neck and finally the head with the base being the bone that connects to your wrist. When you damage any of these bones, it results in you suffering a fractured knuckle injury and often it is the little finger that is negatively impacted although the others can be broken too. A broken knuckle xray would determine the extent of the damage that has been done.

If you suffered a broken knuckle whether in a road traffic accident, during a brawl or because of another accident that left you with a hand injury, you may be entitled to free medical care and physiotherapy in your area. Speak to one of our health experts today who would tell you in minutes what therapy you may qualify for and if you would be entitled to receive any free medical aids which could help speed up your broken knuckle recovery.

What are the Most Common Causes of a Broken Knuckle?

Any sort of fracture typically occurs due to blunt force trauma to a bone although weakened bones are also more at risk of breaking when carrying out normal everyday tasks. When it comes to broken knuckles, this type of hand injury typically occurs when you strike anything with a closed fist. An example being if you were involved in a fight or a brawl. Other common causes of this type of hand injury includes the following:

  • A fall
  • While playing sports
  • Your hand was crushed
  • You were involved in a road traffic accident or collision

It is worth noting that a doctor would need to know how you sustained the injury to your hand which helps when it comes to making a correct initial assessment of your hand injury.

If you are not happy with a broken knuckle NHS diagnosis, you may be entitled to a free orthopaedic assessment of your broken bone report. To find out what other medical care is available in your area and whether you qualify, please call one of our health experts today.

Is There a Difference Between a Broken Knuckle and a Bruised Knuckle?

The knuckles in your hand are extremely strong bones, but any sort of violent, blunt force trauma can result in a fracture. However, you may find that your knuckles are bruised rather than broken which is why it is important to have your injury assessed by a doctor as soon as possible to reduce the risk of any further damage being done.

With this said, a bruised knuckle can also be extremely painful causing a lot of swelling on an injured hand making it hard or impossible to move your fingers. It can take a few days for a bruised knuckle to heal, but if the injury is severe, it could take several weeks. A broken knuckle could take much longer more especially if your injury was not correctly diagnosed and treatment in a timely manner.

If you are unhappy with your broken knuckle NHS treatment, you may be entitled to free private medical care in your area. To find out more, please call one of our health experts today.

What are the Typical Symptoms of a Broken Knuckle?

You would suffer a lot of pain if you sustain a broken knuckle with other symptoms being as follows:

  • Swelling in an affected hand
  • Bruising
  • A loss of movement in your fingers
  • You would experience the sensation of pins and needles in your injured hand
  • You fingers and hand would go numb
  • Your fingers or thumb would be obviously deformed
  • You may have an open knuckle fracture that bleeds

If you sustain a fractured knuckle you should immediately do the following:

  • Take off any rings or jewellery on your injured hand
  • Keep your hand raised
  • Cover an open would with a clean, sterile dressing
  • Seek medical attention as soon as possible

You may qualify for free private medical care if you sustained a broken knuckle and you could be entitled to a free orthopaedic assessment of your NHS broken bone report. To find out what kind of treatment and therapy may be available in your area, give one of our health experts a call today.

How is a Broken Knuckle Diagnosed?

A lot of people who suffer this type of hand injury ask what a broken knuckle looks like. The answer is there would be a lot of bruising and swelling around an affected knuckle together with other signs that you have sustained a serious injury to your hand.

As previously mentioned, a doctor would need to know how you injured your hand before thoroughly examining it. They would check for any soft tissue and joint damage. If you sustained an open fracture to your knuckle, they would stem the bleeding. A doctor would also need to establish whether there are any foreign objects in your wound. To confirm an initial broken knuckle diagnosis, a doctor would carry out the following tests:

  • A series of x-rays to determine which of your knuckle bones have been damaged. It is worth noting that a broken knuckle x ray may not show the extent of any soft tissue damage but the broken knuckle pictures would establish which bones have been broken
  • CT scan – this would show the extent of soft tissue damage
  • MRI scan – this would provide a more detailed image of your injuries
  • Ultrasound

If you suspect that you have fractured your knuckle whether because you were involved in a car crash or because you were involved in a brawl with someone else, you should seek medical attention as soon as you can. A doctor would carry out specific tests to determine whether any bones are broken or if you suffered severe bruising to your hand in the incident.

How is a Broken Knuckle Treated?

The main goal of any broken knuckle treatment is to ensure that movement is restored to your hand and fingers as soon as possible. Your injury would be treated by a hand surgeon and you would need to undergo physiotherapy to ensure you do not lose any function in your injured hand. With this said, you may have to wear a broken knuckle cast during the healing process.

Broken knuckle treatment

Broken knuckle treatment

With this said, your broken knuckle treatment would depend on the complexity and severity of your injury as well as whether you need to undergo any sort of hand surgery to put things right.

You would most likely be treated for a suspected fractured knuckle in the Accident and Emergency department of a hospital where your hand would be placed in a sling to ensure it remains elevated. This helps reduce the risk of more swelling and can relieve pain. A lot of knuckle fractures do not require surgery but should you have sustained a more serious injury to your hand, you may need to undergo surgery to put any displaced bones back where they should be which would be done under local or general anaesthetic.

For minor broken knuckle injuries, treatment may be as follows:

  • Cold therapy – a doctor or nurse would initially apply a cold pack to your injured hand to reduce the swelling and to offer some pain relief
  • Immobilising your injured hand – following the results of x-rays, a doctor would immobilise your injured hand with the end goal being to keep any broken knuckle bones in place so they knit correctly. A cast or splint may be used for this purpose
  • Pain relief medication – you would be either prescribed pain relief medication or a doctor may recommend taking over-the-counter medicine depending on the severity of your injury and the pain you are experiencing
  • A course of antibiotics – to reduce the risk of infection, a doctor could prescribe a course of antibiotics and it is important to complete the full course to prevent any resistance to the medication

More serious broken fracture treatment

Should the doctor find that your injury has negatively impacted not only your knuckle bones but your joints too, they may recommend you undergo surgery to put things right. Other reasons why you may need to undergo surgery includes the following:

  • You sustained an open fracture
  • Affected knuckle bones are displaced/unstable
  • You sustained a significant amount of soft tissue damage to the surrounding area
  • You suffered multiple fractures to your hand

You may need internal fixations which would ensure affected bones are realigned correctly during the healing process. This would involve having wires, pins, plates or screws placed on fractured bones to stabilise them. Another treatment involves using external fixations on a hand injury which again uses pins to secure bones together and having a metal frame placed on your injury which keeps your knuckle in the correct position. The frame is then removed when the bones have healed.

Is There Any Free Medical Care I Could Qualify For?

Having sustained a broken knuckle, you may qualify for free private medical care for your hand injury. You may also be entitled to free private physiotherapy aftercare in your area. This could help get you back to normal safely sooner and could help reduce the risk of losing movement in your fingers which can happen when you suffer this type of fracture to your hand.

To find out what free treatment and physiotherapy is available in your area, please call one of our health experts today and find out in minutes whether you qualify for not only free medical care but free medical aids that could make you feel more comfortable during the healing process.

Are There Any Complications Associated with a Broken Knuckle?

The prognosis and complications that you may suffer following a fracture to your knuckle would depend on the severity and complexity of the injury you sustained. The outcome is generally not as good should any of your knuckle joints have been negatively impacted and the same can be said if tendons and nerves in your hand are damaged. The main complication is a feeling of numbness in your hand and fingers, but this should subside over time more especially if you undergo effective physiotherapy.

I Think My Doctor Missed Something When Diagnosing My Broken Knuckle?

If you believe a doctor misdiagnosed your hand injury and you are unhappy with the broken knuckle NHS treatment that was set in place, you should carry out as much research on this type of injury as you can to either allay your fears or confirm your suspicions. The links provided at the bottom of this guide, offers essential reading on this type of hand injury, how to care for a broken knuckle and the importance of undergoing physiotherapy during your rehabilitation.

How Long Does a Broken Knuckle Take to Heal?

As previously touched upon, broken knuckle recovery can be long and challenging because you would not have full use of your injured hand for quite some time. You may have to wear a splint or cast for a number of weeks and further x-rays may be needed to ensure that affected knuckle bones are knitting properly.

Broken knuckle healing time can take anything from 6 to 8 weeks but getting full strength back in an affected hand can take a lot longer which could be around 3 to 4 months. This can have a negative impact on your day-to-day life and your ability to carry out normal everyday tasks.

Are There Any Long Term Health Issues Associated with a Broken Knuckle?

A lot of people who suffered a broken knuckle find that when the weather is damp and cold, they experience discomfort in their hand. If you had to undergo surgery, you may find that you develop arthritis in your hand further down the line and some people who sustained a very serious fracture, may find that their hand movement is restricted.

Can I Speed Up My Broken Knuckle Recovery Time Safely?

Broken knuckle injuries can take a while to heal depending on the complexity and severity of the injury. It could take several months before you get full strength back in your injured hand. However, receiving the correct, intensive physiotherapy aftercare for this type of hand injury can help speed up your recovery and would do so safely.

You may qualify for free physiotherapy aftercare in your area having suffered a fractured knuckle. Call one of our health experts today and find out immediately what therapy you may be entitled to receive.

What Free Treatment Could I Receive for a Broken Knuckle?

There are various free private treatments and therapies that you could be entitled to you in your area if you sustained a broken knuckle whether because you were involved in a road traffic accident or some other incident that left you with a minor or more severe hand injury. This could include the following:

  • Free medical care by a hand specialist
  • Free physiotherapy tailored made to suit your hand injury
  • Free medical aids that could help speed up your recovery

Call one of our health experts today and find out what treatments are available in your area and whether you qualify. It only takes a few minutes to get an answer.

Get in Touch Today to Find Out Which Free Treatments You Could Qualify for

If you suffered a fracturedbroken knuckle and you are unhappy with the NHS broken bone report, diagnosis and treatment you received, speak to one of our health experts who can let you know straight away whether you would qualify for a free orthopaedic assessment of your broken bone report and whether you would be entitled to free private medical care and physiotherapy aftercare in your area.

Our phone lines are open 7 days a week from 8 am to 11 pm. Call today on 020 3870 4868, a health expert is waiting to take your call.

Helpful Links

If you suffered a broken knuckle and would like to know more about the type of hand surgery you may have to undergo to put things right, the link below provides essential reading on the subject:

More about hand surgery

To find out more about how hand therapy can help you recovery mobility in your hand following a fractured knuckle, please follow the link below which takes you to the British Society for Surgery to the Hand:

How therapy can help you recover use of an injured hand

If one of your children suffered a broken knuckle and you would like to know more about the work hand clinics do for this type of injury in very young children and toddlers, the following link provides essential reading and also provides information on where the clinics are situated throughout the country:

Children’s hand clinics