The Face & Body Center

of Plastic and Hand Surgery Associates

Trauma/Injury – Hand Fractures, Broken Fingers – Flowood/Jackson, MS

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About Trauma/Injury

Form follows function in the hand. Therefore, any injury to the underlying structures of the hand carries the potential for serious handicap. To reduce this risk, even the smallest hand injuries require a good medical evaluation and treatment.

Hand injuries can be divided into five general categories, which are listed below. If you are suffering from hand trauma, you should immediately seek an appointment with one of our Flowood and Jackson, MS hand trauma surgeons who will help diagnose the type and severity of your injury, as well as the best course of treatment. Contact The Face & Body Center today if you experience any of the following:

  • Lacerations or cuts
  • Dislocations and fractures
  • Soft tissue injuries and amputations
  • Infections
  • Burns

When to Seek Medical Care

Anyone with a hand injury should consider calling a doctor or seek medical attention. The potential for devastating injuries increases greatly when medical attention is delayed. Even the smallest cut or seemingly innocent hand injury could require advanced treatment to prevent infection or significant loss of function. Any cut or laceration, which may require stitches to repair, warrants a medical evaluation. If a person is in doubt about whether the cut they have needs stitches, they should call the doctor for guidance. Minor burns do not require immediate medical evaluation; however, call a health care professional if there is any doubt.

Injuries to the hand causing the following symptoms generally require emergency medical attention:

  • Severe bleeding
  • Numbness
  • Loss of motion or strength
  • Severe pain
  • Obvious deformity or amputation
  • Any of the signs of infection, such as tenderness, local warmth, redness, swelling, pus, or fever
  • Exposure of underlying structures, such as tendons, bones, joints, arteries, veins, or nerves

Seek emergency medical care in these situations:

  • Fractures, dislocations, high-pressure injuries, and amputations 
  • Any deep, gaping (open), or dirty cut 
  • Wounds due to an animal or human bite (including lacerations from striking a tooth during an assault)
  • Burns

Diagnosing a Hand Injury

The doctor may order x-rays after the history and physical exam as needed. Certain hand injuries will require x-rays to identify fractures and dislocations or to rule out foreign bodies.

After a thorough evaluation, the diagnosis usually falls within one of these common injury categories:

  • Lacerations
  • Fractures and dislocations
  • Soft tissue injuries and amputations
  • Infections
  • Burns
  • Thermal burns
    • First-degree burn: Superficial, involvement of the outermost layer of skin, characterized by pain, redness, swelling
    • Second-degree burn: Partial skin thickness, characterized by blistering
    • Third-degree burn: Extends completely through all skin layers, characterized by lack of pain and sensation
  • Chemical burns
  • Electric burns
  • Cold injury or frostbite
  • Foreign body
  • High-pressure infusion (grease gun, paint gun)

Tendon Injuries

  • Extensor Tendon Injuries

Extensor tendons are located on the back of the hand and straighten the fingers and thumbs. These tendons are attached to the forearm and are joined to the fingers by smaller tendons from the hand muscles. These all account for hand coordination. Tendons are vulnerable to injury mostly because of their location.

Treatment:

Most of these injuries, such as torn tendons, are treated and stabilized with a splint; however, cut tendons should be repaired surgically. A pin may be placed through the bone to serve as an internal splint. Incorrect positioning or non-compliance with doctor’s instructions can cause further problems. It is imperative to follow our Jackson, MS tendon injury treatment specialist’s directions for maximum improvement. Different things can affect the outcome of extensor tendon injuries. These include nature and severity of the injury, fracture, infection and individual healing. Scar tissue may form and complicate finger bending and straightening. Therapy may resolve these problems, or surgery may become necessary. Your Face & Body Center surgeon can determine the best method of treatment.

  • Flexor Tendon Injuries

Flexor tendons are located on the palmar side of the hand. Their function is to bend the fingers and wrist. Injuries on the palm side of the wrist, hand, and fingers may damage flexor tendons, connecting nerves, and blood vessels. If both tendons are cut, fingers cannot bend on their own. If tendons are not cut through completely, fingers will still bend, but there will be pain and fingers may “catch” in motion. A cut tendon usually will not heal without surgery, but if cut ends are brought back together, healing can occur.

Treatment

There are a variety of methods in tendon repair, and only a qualified hand surgeon can determine the appropriate treatment for a tendon injury. Movement may be restricted after surgery, or therapy may be started immediately. Scar tissue may affect bending and straightening or make additional surgery necessary. Following a physician’s instruction is imperative for a successful outcome.

Hand Injury Treatment

Home care for hand injuries initially involves proper first aid techniques. In most cases, serious hand injuries will require medical attention.

Lacerations (cuts)

  • Apply pressure to the wound to stop bleeding
  • If possible, wash dirt or debris from the wound
  • Cover the wound to prevent further contamination or injury
  • Do not remove large foreign bodies such as nails, hooks, or knives
  • Seek medical attention

Fractures (broken bone) and dislocations

  • Immobilize or splint the hand, if possible
  • Cover the injury if the bone is exposed (open fracture) with a clean towel, cloth, or gauze
  • Ice may help decrease the pain, but never apply ice for more than 20 minutes at one time, and never apply ice directly to the skin
  • Seek medical attention

Soft tissue injuries and amputations

  • Apply pressure to stop bleeding
  • Cover the injury with a damp bandage, if possible
  • Elevate the hand above the heart to reduce bleeding
  • Retrieve the amputated body part (if possible). If possible, cover the amputated body part, keep it damp, and place the part (for example, finger or thumb) near ice to cool. Do not place the body part in direct contact with ice in order to prevent freezing.
  • Seek medical attention

Infections

  • Keep the injury clean and dry
  • Seek medical attention

Burns

  • Thermal (heat) burn: Cool with water (not ice) and then cover the injury
  • Chemical burn: Irrigate with lots of water, then cover the injury
  • Frostbite: Rewarm with warm-water bath or soak, then cover the injury
  • Seek medical attention

What to Expect

Your surgery and treatment process will vary depending on the kind of condition that you're suffering from. Minor cuts and lacerations may only require stitches and nonsurgical procedures, while more extensive injuries may require in-depth surgery. Regardless of the treatment, our team will place an emphasis on retaining the function of the hands while also paying close attention to their cosmetic appearance. We will do everything we can to restore your hands' appearance and make the injury as least noticeable as possible. 

Anticipated Results

The recovery process will look different for each patient since every condition requires various amounts of time to completely heal. We will give you detailed aftercare instructions and help your recovery process to go as smoothly as possible, including prescribing necessary medication. You may need to wear a cast or dressing on your hand for some time afterward. Our goal is always to preserve the aesthetic quality of your hands as well as their ability to move and function properly after the procedure.

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Seek Help Today

If you've experienced an injury or trauma to your hand, including open wounds, fractures, burns, and more, then we highly encourage you to contact our office. Your hands play a vital role in your everyday life, and it is important to seek help immediately after an incident to prevent any further, long-term damage from developing. Our experienced team of surgeons can address your needs today.

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*Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary from person to person. Images may contain models.