Boxers fracture - causes, symptoms and treatment

Medically Reviewed By : Dr K. Hari Chandana

( Fellowship in Trauma, Fellowship in Pain Management )


A boxer’s fracture is a specific type of hand fracture that involves the fifth metacarpal bone in the hand, which connects the small finger (pinky) to the wrist. It is named as such because it is a common injury among boxers who may sustain it from punching improperly or without proper hand protection.

The fracture typically occurs when the hand impacts an object with a clenched fist, leading to a forceful bending of the fifth metacarpal bone. This can happen during a physical altercation, sports activities, or even accidentally striking a hard object.

boxer’s fracture

Signs and symptoms include:

If you suspect a boxer’s fracture, it is essential to seek medical attention promptly. A physician will likely perform an examination, order X-rays or other imaging tests, and determine the appropriate course of treatment.

Boxer's Fracture Causes

Boxer’s fractures are most commonly caused by direct trauma or forceful impact to the hand when it is clenched in a fist. Some common causes of boxer’s fractures include:

 It’s essential to take precautions and wear appropriate hand protection during activities with a risk of hand injuries. This includes using proper boxing gloves, hand wraps, or other protective gear when engaging in contact sports or martial arts. In case of any significant hand trauma or pain after an injury, seeking prompt medical attention is crucial to assess and treat the condition properly.

Boxer's Fracture Symptoms

The symptoms of a boxer’s fracture can vary depending on the severity of the injury, but common signs to look out for include:

 It’s important to note that some people may experience a boxer’s fracture with only mild symptoms, while others may have more severe pain and swelling. If you suspect a boxer’s fracture or if you experience any of the above symptoms after an injury involving the hand, it is crucial to seek medical attention promptly. A healthcare professional can perform a thorough examination, order imaging tests (such as X-rays), and recommend the appropriate treatment plan based on the severity of the fracture. Early diagnosis and treatment can lead to better outcome and faster recovery.

Boxer's Fracture Treatment

The treatment for a boxer’s fracture depends on the severity and alignment of the fracture. Here are the common approaches to treating a boxer’s fracture:

The choice of treatment will depend on factors such as the type and location of the fracture, the patient’s age, overall health, and the extent of displacement. It is essential to follow your doctor’s recommendations and adhere to the prescribed treatment plan to promote proper healing and minimize the risk of complications. Delaying or neglecting treatment may lead to long-term hand problems and functional limitations.