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.
The Content on this Site is presented in a summary fashion, and is intended to be used for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended to be and should not be interpreted as medical advice or a diagnosis of any health or fitness problem, condition or disease; or a recommendation for a specific test, doctor, care provider, procedure, treatment plan, product, or course of action. Med Help International, Inc. is not a medical or healthcare provider and your use of this Site does not create a doctor / patient relationship. We disclaim all responsibility for the professional qualifications and licensing of, and services provided by, any physician or other health providers posting on or otherwise referred to on this Site and/or any Third Party Site. Never disregard the medical advice of your physician or health professional, or delay in seeking such advice, because of something you read on this Site. We offer this Site AS IS and without any warranties. By using this Site you agree to the following Terms and Conditions. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your physician or 911 immediately.
We're in the process of updating our system during which our trackers and health tools will not be available. We are doing our best to finish this update quickly. They should become available by 6:00 p.m. PST