How long will stiffness last after boxer's fracture?
I punched a wall and broke my 5th metacarpal bone (Boxer's fracture). about 8 weeks ago. Had surgery 7 weeks ago with plate and screws to realign bone. Aside from the most nasty scar in the world, I have so much stiffness in my pinky finger at the knuckle and swelling in the entire finger. How long should the stiffness and swelling last? Will it be permanent? I started occupational therapy and they seem to think it will get better but it will take months not weeks. I am skeptical about occupational therapy since just about everything they're doing, I could do at home for free. Anyway, aside from the stiffness at the knuckle of my pinky and swelling, I CANNOT MAKE A FIST! Every time I try to make a fist there is incredible pain in my palm right at the surgical site (neck of 5th metacarpal). It is a sharp, stabbing pain. Could it be the screws that are causing this pain? Is there any way to tell? Or is it just very damaged, weak tendons from the surgery. There is a lot of pain in my forearm as well particularly when I go to grab something quickly! My entire hand feels weak, full of aches and pains. Has anyone else had boxer's fracure ORIF surgery and had a positive outcome where they got full range of motion back and the stiffness was gone. I haven't seen to many positive outcomes and I'm nervous. I've been out of work for about 2 months and counting and I have to write and type on the job. I'm going back in a week or so feeling like I'm at 50%
Well, without a clinical evaluation it would be difficult to determine the cause of your symptoms. Swelling due to inflammation usually takes 4-10 weeks to settle down while stiffness may take a few more weeks of physiotherapy. Your inability to make a fist could be due to a few things such as muscle stiffness, tendon/ nerve injury, scar tissue formation, inflammation/ oedema, hardware issues etc. Muscle stiffness and discomfort should get better in a few days/ weeks of physiotherapy; while for other reasons it is advised to consider a review with your orthopedician.
Hope this is helpful.
you dint mention about physiotherapy... However, some patients need an additional few weeks of splinting to protect the repair, depending on the severity of the fracture. Avoid heavy lifting or use of the hand until the fracture heals.
Pain, swelling, and stiffness gradually improve over time. Most patients can return to more normal function at about 2 months post-operatively, but maximum improvement can take 3-6 months. Recovery time varies among patients.
consult a physiotherapist to reduce stiffness.....
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