A Bennett fracture is a fracture and often dislocation of the 1st Carpometacarpal joint at the base of the thumb where the metacarpal of the hand meet the carpal bones at the wrist.
Symptoms of a Bennett Fracture
A Bennett fracture is usually caused by a hard impact or trauma such as punching something hard or falling onto the hand with the thumb sticking out to the side. Symptoms will include immediate and severe pain over the thumb side of the wrist.
There will be rapid swelling and bruising may develop. The patient will find it very difficult to move the wrist and thumb experiencing a lot of pain. In more serious cases the thumb may appear deformed.
A Bennett fracture is a serious injury which if not treated correctly can cause permanent disability. In particular problems when bringing the thumb across the palm of the hand and pinching with the index or middle fingers are common if the fracture does not heal properly.
Bennett fracture surgery
A Bennett fracture usually requires surgery performed by a specialist wrist and hand surgeon followed by a 4-6 week period of immobilization in a Plaster cast. The operation involves reduction of the bones which is medical speak for putting them back in the correct place and fixation of the fracture using wires. See Bennet fracture surgery for an interview with specialist wrist and hand surgeon Mr Elliot Sorene.
Following the immobilization period, mobilization of the surrounding joints by a physical therapist is important to help restore normal function. This should be followed by wrist and hand strengthening exercises. On returning to sport, a protective thumb splint, support or taping may be used.