Bennett's Fracture Fracture of the Base of the Thumb
IntroductionA Bennett’s fracture occurs when the bone at the base of the thumb breaks and dislocates. It results from a forceful injury, such as during fist fighting, playing football, accidents, or a fall. A Bennett’s fracture causes thumb swelling, pain, and immobility. Treatment entails realigning the broken bone and providing stabilization while it heals
Your thumb joint is the only joint in your hand that can move in all directions. Your thumb can move up and down, in and out, and rotate slightly to touch your fingers (opposition). You move your thumbs hundreds of times each day. The movements of the thumb allow it to work as an anchor to help the fingers hold objects. The thumb works as a grip when you use a hammer or hold a glass. The thumb also acts as a stabilizer to allow your fingers to manipulate items. You use such precision movements for such activities as counting coins and handwriting. A tendon that attaches to the base of the thumb metacarpal, called the abductor pollicis longus, is responsible for the joint dislocation that can occur with a Bennett’s fracture.
Fractures that require realignment are reduced surgically and stabilized with pins, screws or plates. A thumb spica cast or splint is worn for several weeks following surgery. Therapy for range of motion of the thumb is started when your doctor determines it is safe to do so. Your therapist will show you exercises to increase the mobility, flexibility, coordination, and strength in your hand.
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