You may feel like punching a wall out of frustration or anger, but it's likely that you'll feel a lot angrier and frustrated if you damage your hand. There are 27 bones in the human hand, and they work in synchronization to enable you to possess the remarkable manual dexterity that humans possess.
When bones in the hand are fractured, you will be required to have the injured portion of your hand immobilized until healing can be completed. Unfortunately, this is a best case scenario when damage occurs to bones in your hand.
You may sustain complete breaks, where the bones become separated. This will usually require and orthopedic surgeon to insert steel pins into the bones to hold them in place until they have healed.
What are some of the signs of a broken hand?
Besides cuts and contusions in the skin, the hand will become swollen and discolored. It may turn dark and/or yellow from bruising under the skin. Broken fingers will appear swollen and misshapen, and may be pointed in directions that are beyond their normal range of movement.
If you believe you've broken your hand or finger, take off any jewelry that might cause problems if swelling occurs. This may be easier said than done if you have a broken and distorted ring finger, but it may cause serious issues if left on a finger that multiplies in size from swelling.
What should you do if you think you've broken your hand?
You must go to a doctor to have an x-ray performed to determine if your hand is broken and to diagnose the extent of the injury. Keep your hand elevated to reduce swelling as you travel to the doctor's office, and wrap it lightly in gauze if the skin is broken to help to control bleeding and minimize the chance of infection.
Your doctor may send you to a radiology center if your medical insurance mandates that a specific provider must perform diagnostic tests such as x-rays. They can send the results to your doctor, who can administer a splint for a minor fracture. This will keep the broken bone immobilized and allow it to heal properly.
However, if you have multiple fractures or finger joints are severely damaged, you will be referred to a hand doctor for treatment. A hand surgery specialist (such as one from Town Center Orthopaedic Associates)will attempt to save as much hand function and movement as possible.
What happens when you receive surgery for a broken hand?
You will receive a consultation with an orthopedic surgeon who will examine your hand and possibly take additional scans of your hand, then explain the type of surgery that will be required for maximum return of hand function.
You will be instructed on preparing for hand surgery and an appointment will be scheduled for the procedure. You must take a driver with you on the day of the surgery because you will be under sedation during the procedure.
The orthopedic surgeon will use a special drill to create holes in your broken bones. Pins will then be screws into the holes to hold the broken bones together. The ends of the pins will protrude from your skin so the hand doctor can remove them after healing is complete. Surgery is not necessary to remove the pins. It will be done in the doctor's office.
After hand surgery: physical therapy
While the pins are still inserted, you will begin physical therapy to avoid the growth of scar tissue that will inhibit movement and dexterity in your fingers after the bones are healed. Three physical therapy sessions per week will usually be scheduled, to ensure that your hands heal properly. However, the number of sessions and the length of duration may vary according to individual needs.
If you really must strike something in anger, get some hand wraps for boxing and a heavy bag to hit instead of a wall. Of course, you must also learn to wrap your hands properly,or you'll end up at the hand doctor anyway.