Boxers Fracture – A Common Injury


Watching wrestling over the years, you see a lot of injuries happen. Some not so serious, some career debilitating, and some even life threatening. Athletes in all sports have to deal with injuries from time to time. It’s how you take care of yourself afterwards which determines how well you’ll do with recovery and getting back into the ring, or your sport.

A common injury in wrestling, MMA and boxing would be a boxer’s fracture or what some doctors call a brawler’s fracture. This is an injury to the knuckle of the fourth or fifth (ring or little) finger of the hand. These bones that are affected are called the metacarpal bones, the fracture typically occurs just at the neck of the bone adjacent to the knuckle.

How can someone get a “boxer’s fracture” even if they’re not a boxer?

Simple, these fractures occur when a person strikes or punches a hard object with a closed fist. Common with boxers, wrestlers when pounding the mat or other objects, and even MMA fighters. This is also a fracture many have gotten hitting walls!!

You can learn more about this type of fracture by reading about a Mixed Martial Artist fighter who had injured his left hand after throwing a straight punch, which started at the base of the middle finger right at the knuckle. Check out this case study to learn more.
Hit that wall too hard? How do you know if you could have boxer’s fracture? Well, look for pain and swelling as well as bruising. Another sign is loss of prominence of the knuckle of the little finger.

A doctor’s examination will be needed, and most often times an x-ray will be done as well to display the fracture and the angulations of the fracture. If needed, a CT scan may be done as well to get a more detailed picture of the fracture is bad enough.

Once someone has been diagnosed with boxer’s fracture, the injury can be treated with a cast or splint and it is typically on the person for about four to six weeks on average. If the bone is significantly angulated some may require surgery.

In order to prevent this injury, boxers, wrestlers, MMA fighters and other combat athletes use hand wraps and boxing gloves to help stabilize the hand which also helps reduce pain and having the risk of injury during training. Hand wraps made with simple athletic tape helps, and also proper punching form is an important factor to help prevent this type of fracture from occurring.

It’s a common injury in combat sports, but it can be preventable as well, and with the right treatment and recovery time, athletes can be back on track in a few short weeks.

I always find it interesting to learn more about the injuries some of my favorite athletes may have had occur, it might not float everyone’s boat, but it helps me feel more informed and engaged in the sports I’m watching, so I know if an injury is a legit one or not.

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December 6, 2012 – 9:40 PM - | Posted in daily life, Wrestling | Comments Off on Boxers Fracture – A Common Injury

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