T Nation

Boxers Fracture


I got in a scuffle outside of my frat house before a football game at USC. I ended up getting a boxers fracture (breaking the fifth metacarpal) of my dominant (right) hand. This happened 3 and a half months ago. I had surgery where two pins were inserted in my fifth metacarpal and wore a cast for a month. The following month I wore a splint and didn't do any movements as my hand was still broken. I have now had my hand out of the splint and casts for over a month and have been going to physical therapy once a week. I cannot lift up my pinky finger but am just starting to be able to make a fist. I have tons of scar tissue and progress is extremely slow. I push and pull on my hand and massage it all day. If anybody has experienced a boxers fracture how was your recovery process and how long did it take to get back to 100 percent. BTW, I am weightlifting and am back to my previous strenth in every lift besides deads and rows due to grip strenth in my right hand.


This made me giggle.

  1. quit the frat.
  2. don't drink and punch walls.

get hot parafin therapy
go to PT
play with clay

hold your fingers like a sock puppet put 2 or 3 rubber bands on them
and open your hand for reps.

repeat 1 and 2.


I'm surprised you're only going to PT once a week. It should be more I would think.


Just an FYI, more and more PT is following the once per week supervised with multiple times at home paradigm. There were some studies that found COMPLIENT (emphasized because they are often a rarity in real life) patients do just as well with well directed home care (doing shit by themselves) as with multiple supervised visits. It makes sense that upping the weekly volume of well chosen and performed exercises will result in a greater effect. The trick is to make sure the patient buys into doing the exercises and performs them properly, with the appropriate volume, and of course that the exercise/therapy is appropriate (i.e. will correct what is to be corrected). As a fighter you inherently get this. You don't need your coach to watch you do every fucking thing. You need taught what to do, and directed when and how to train it. Depending on the ability of the athlete/fighter/patient to learn, this can take a lot or a little. Generally great athletes pick up activities easy. Some patients it is like herding cats just to get basic movements.

The real reason for the switch is of course money. Supervised PT is expensive and insurance companies are doing all they can to cut the expense of paying for it.


I sorry for your situation. In general tissue remodeling (the process where scar tissues/temporary fixes change/reorganize in order to recover from injury/become more permanent fixes) can take a long time (months to years). Generally being healthy, eating healthy, and being young is a great boon. If you use tobacoo products (smoking or dipping) now would be a great time to stop (no nicotine gum or e-cigs either). More and more evidence is showing that nicotine retards the healing process a great deal.

KMCNYC has already given you some great advice. You are under the supervision of therapists and doctors who should know what you should do. Try to follow their advice to the letter. Honest 100% compliance can really result in some good things. The caveat to this is that you need to trust your doctors and therapists in order to do this, and that trust needs to be appropriate. If, for whatever reason, you don't think your doctors or therapists know what they are talking about, then you owe it to yourself to find some that you do trust enough to do what they say.

This is all general advice and may or may not fit your exact case. I am just some jerkoff on the internet. Listen to your doctors. Best of luck.