To undergo effective treatment of hand and wrist fractures, contact Dr. Steven Bailey at The Hand Center at Crawford Plastic Surgery, serving the greater Atlanta, GA area.

What Are Bone Fractures?

A fracture is the medical term for a broken bone. There are many types of fractures that can occur. A fracture may result in the bone completely breaking into two pieces and becoming displaced, or the bone may split or crack but remain in its proper alignment.

Bone Fracture Symptoms

The most obvious symptoms of fractures are pain and swelling surrounding the injury site. Some patients may have limited range of motion or difficulty bending or flexing the fingers or wrist. If the bone was pushed out of alignment, the fingers, or wrist may appear deformed or bend at an unnatural angle. In cases of severe fractures, the bone may break through the skin.

Causes of Bone Fractures

Most fractures are caused by a traumatic injury, such as a car accident, fall, or sports-related injury. Bones that have been weakened from conditions such as osteoporosis are more prone to fractures.

Types of Bone Fractures

The following types of fractures may affect the hands or upper extremity:

  • Displaced: A displaced fracture results in the bone breaking into two pieces and moving out of proper alignment.
  • Non-displaced: A non-displaced fracture refers to a partial or complete crack in the bone, but the bone remains in its proper alignment.
  • Comminuted: A comminuted fracture occurs when the bone breaks into multiple pieces.
  • Open: An open fracture refers to cases in which the bone breaks through the skin. This poses a serious risk of a deep bone infection.
  • Closed: A closed fracture is one in which the bone does not break through the skin.

Bone Fracture Diagnosis

In most cases, Dr. Bailey can diagnose the fracture with a physical exam and X-rays. A CT scan or MRI may be taken in cases of severe fractures that have injured the ligaments, tendons, muscles, and nerves.

Treatment of Bone Fractures

In cases of non-displaced, closed fractures, it may be possible to treat the injury without surgery. We will place a splint or cast to immobilize the area while it heals.

If the bone was displaced, we will perform surgery and use screws, pins, or plates to hold the bone in proper alignment while it heals.

If an open fracture has resulted in a loss of skin, exposing the tendons, nerve, and bone, a free tissue transfer may be performed. This microsurgery procedure reattaches blood vessels from the donor to transfer site.

Recovery after Surgery

After patients undergo surgery for fractures, they can expect to attend hand therapy appointments, and regularly perform the recommended repeated movements to restore full mobility of the hands or upper extremity.


Contact The Hand Center at Crawford Plastic Surgery today to schedule an appointment.