August 27, 2004

Boxer’s fracture

This Sunday will mark the passing of the third week since I injured my right hand. I play softball on my church’s co-ed team. I usually play third base, and was doing so on the 8th. During the first game of a double-header, we had a runner coming to third after a hit in to center field. The throw came in from one of our outfielders, and while trying to catch the ball and bring it down to make the tag, I caught too much of the ball with my unprotected hand rather than with the glove.

When the inning was over, I was done, for that game and the next. My hand spent the next couple of hours in ice. It started to bruise later that night, and by Monday night, my entire palm was bruised. My hand, mainly around the knuckle of my little finger and that entire side, was swollen. I could still move my little finger without much pain, and we all figured I had just severely bruised it.

The next weekend I was in Connecticut for a friend’s wedding. The hand was still bothering me, but the swelling was slowly receding, and the bruising wasn’t as noticeable. Then this past weekend came around, and things weren’t really getting much better. The swelling was majorly down from the initial injury, but some was still present, and I did have a wider range of motion with the little and ring fingers than I had the week before. What prompted me to finally call an orthopedist this past Wednesday was the fact that when I straightened out my fingers, the little finger didn’t quite line up with the rest.

It turns out I did fracture my hand, specifically the joint where my knuckle connects to my little finger. The doc said it’s called a boxer’s fracture, and is common in, of course, boxers, and others who practice martial arts. When one punches something, they tend to lead with the knuckle of the little finger, and if one punches something too hard, like say, a wall or car door, one will more than likely cause such an injury. I just happened to have a hard, but well-thrown, ball cause mine.

The fracture is already healing. The doctor said the swelling those first few days may have actually helped, as it limited my movement of that finger and knuckle. If I had come to see him that first week, I would have gotten a cast. If had shown up the week after, he likely would have put my hand in a removable splint. As it is now, doing either wouldn’t really aid in the healing process, so we left it as is. He was impressed that I was able to shake his hand when he first came in to the examination room, and commented that I didn’t seem to have much of a problem with my grip. He did say I will have to avoid certain activities for the next four to six weeks, including softball (the fall season starts next week), but otherwise things are proceeding fine.

Both my wife and my mom called this one correctly, thinking I may have broken one of the smaller bones in my hand. So the lesson here, fellas, is listen to Dr. Mom and/or Dr. Wife. They seem to have a sense for these things…

Posted by retrophisch at August 27, 2004 10:00 PM | TrackBack