The bone structure of the human body is unique. They are arranged in such an order that we can perform different tasks, without any trouble. One of the most interesting bone arrangements can be seen in the fingers of the human body. Every finger, except for the thumb finger, has three bones known as phalanges.1 Only the thumb has two phalanges. They assist in doing every task done by the hand. As a result of its extensive use, the finger bones are also prone to break since they are exposed to workload and also are thin bones. These phalanges can encounter fracture and can even be broken.
What is Closed Fracture of the Finger Bones or Phalanges?
Just as accidents and injuries can cause a bone to break, similarly, injuries and accidents can break the phalanges. Closed fracture of the finger bones or phalanges happen when the bones break either partially or completely but the skin is not torn and the bones are not exposed through the skin to the eternal environment. Fracture can occur even in the knuckles, where the phalanges meet. There can be one or multiple phalanges fractures. This can cause stiffness and severe pain in the finger.
Symptoms of Closed Fracture of the Finger Bones or Phalanges
When one or more phalanges are fractured or broken, some symptoms can be found or experienced. These include –
- Limited movement of the finger.
In case the closed fracture of the finger bones or phalanges is very thin, just like a hair line or even thinner, the pain can be less serious and tolerable. Otherwise, it will be quite painful to move the fingers or do any task with them. In fact, in some cases, the fingers might even look deformed or out of shape.
Causes of Closed Fracture of the Finger Bones or Phalanges
Finger Bones or Phalanges are the most common bones of the body, especially the hands, to break. As they do most of the tasks that we perform throughout the day, it is quite likely that mishaps will occur and impact the finger bones. Usually, accidents cause the phalanges to get fractures. These include –
- Injury while working with a tool
- While playing a sport
- Being hit by a fast moving object
- Using hands as a brake to prevent a fall
- Slamming the door or a similar object on the fingers.
It largely depends on the strength and nature of the injury that breaks or fractures the bone. In case a patient has osteoporosis or is suffering from malnutrition, the chances of breaking a finger are even higher.
Risk Factors of Closed Fracture of the Finger Bones or Phalanges
Those, who are associated with outdoor sports, athletics and those, who are associated with manual labor, are at a high risk of getting these closed fractures of finger bones or phalanges. However, calcium deficiency, weak bones and certain bone diseases make the risk of finger bone fracture higher. However, of course, accidents and injuries can cause this fracture at any point of time.
Prognosis and Recovery Period of Closed Fracture of the Finger Bones or Phalanges
Within four to six weeks, closed fractures of the finger bones or phalanges are most likely to heal. However, even after healing, stiffness around the fractured area and the surrounding tissue can persist. It requires certain exercises and physical therapy to bring back mobility to those stiff areas.
Diagnosis of Closed Fracture of the Finger Bones or Phalanges
The medical history of the patient, what he or she has encountered in association with the fingers and the clinical examination of the signs and symptoms can help the doctor to diagnose the fracture. However, to be assured about the extent of the fracture, the doctor will run an X-ray test.
Treatment of Closed Fracture of the Finger Bones or Phalanges
Depending on the location and type of the fracture, the treatment of the closed fracture of the finger bones or phalanges will be done. There are two methods of treatment, such as –
- Treatment Without Surgery for Closed Fracture of the Finger Bones: The doctor will tape the fractured finger with the intact finger. The doctor might even bring the broken and dislocated bone into alignment and then make the finger immobile with this taping. A splint might also be applied on to the finger.
- Surgical Treatment for Closed Fracture of Finger Bones or Phalanges: In case of unstable closed fractures, the doctor will have to perform a surgery. The cases in which the doctor will perform surgery are –
- An impaction fracture
- Multiple fractures
- Damage to the ligaments or tendons
- Loose bone fragments
- Unstable, displaced, or open fractures
- A joint injury.
With proper treatment, deformities can be prevented and the strength of the fingers can be brought back. The surgery is done to realign the broken bones.
Prevention of Closed Fracture of the Finger Bones or Phalanges
Exercising caution is the best way to prevent closed fracture of the finger bones or phalanges. However, those, who are prone to fracture of the finger bones, need to have a proper vitamin D diet, so that the bones are healthy and strong.
Despite precaution, closed fracture of the finger bones or phalanges are common and may occur at any point of time. One must rush to a doctor at once, so that fractures are diagnosed fast and in case there is a possibility of the fingers being deformed, it is prevented right on time. With proper treatment, healing is faster. One must follow the instructions of the doctor regarding healing.