Boxer's fracture]]> is a common name for a fracture of the long bone that connects the little finger to the wrist. This type of fracture may create several fragments. This is called a comminuted fracture. It may also be displaced. This means that the two ends of the bone are separated. In addition, the fracture may be:

  • Closed—skin is not broken
  • Open—skin is broken (often because it strikes a sharp object)

Bones in the Hand

Bones in the Hand
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The most common cause is punching a hard object while boxing or fighting.

Risk Factors

These factors increase your chance of developing boxer’s fracture. Tell your doctor if you have any of these risk factors:

  • Participating in contact sports (eg, boxing, martial arts)
  • Advanced age
  • Postmenopausal
  • Osteoporosis]]>
  • Are exposed to violence



If you have any of these symptoms, do not assume it is due to boxer’s fracture. These symptoms may be caused by other conditions. Tell your doctor if you have any of these symptoms in your little finger:

  • Swelling
  • Pain
  • Deformity
  • Lack of movement
  • Depressed knuckle (a permanent bump may occur even after treatment)


Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will also be done. The injured finger will be examined. Tests may include:

  • Range-of-motion tests
  • X-ray]]>—a test that uses radiation to take a picture of structures inside the body, especially bones



Treatment is usually effective. You may have stiffness and a permanent bump on the hand. Talk with your doctor about the best treatment for you. Options include:

Home Care

  • Rest—A cast will likely be applied to give your finger time to heal. You will need to limit use of your hand.
  • Ice—Apply ice or a cold pack to the finger for 15-20 minutes, four times a day. Do this for several days after the injury. Wrap the ice in a towel. Do not apply it directly to your skin. This will relieve swelling. If you have a cast, check with the doctor to see if he wants you to apply ice.
  • Elevation—To relieve swelling and pain, prop your hand on a pillow when you are sitting or lying down.

Surgery or Procedures

If the bones are not aligned correctly, they may have to be moved for proper healing. Once the bones are in place, you will have to wear a splint or cast for about six weeks.


Your doctor may recommend:

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) (eg, ibuprofen]]>)
  • Pain reliever (eg, ]]>acetaminophen]]>)
  • Antibiotics to prevent infection (if you had an open fracture)


Your doctor may recommend range-of-motion and strengthening exercises once the fracture has healed. You may be referred to a physical therapist.


To help reduce your chances of getting boxer’s fracture, take the following steps:

  • Avoid situations where fights may occur.
  • Exercise regularly to build strong bones and muscles.