You’ve been boxing for a while, you’re really enjoying it and you feel like you know what you’re doing in the gym. Everything’s starting to flow and as your techniques getting better you start ramping up the power. One day you’re dropping bombs on that crazy heavy punch bag and bang, pain shoots through your hand and by the time you take your glove off it’s starting to swell and change colour. Say hello to your new boxer’s fracture.
What is a boxers fracture?
A ‘boxer’s fracture’ is the common name for a fracture of the fourth or fifth metacarpal bone (the ring and pinky, though these fractures in any metacarpal can be referred to as a boxer’s fracture) just below the first knuckle.
What causes the injury?
The most common cause, and the reason they earned the name ‘boxer’s fracture’, is striking a hard object with a fist. The fourth and fifth metacarpals are thinner than the other bones in your hand so are often the ones to break when shock is dispersed through your hand.
Can I train through it or do I need to rest?
You one hundred percent should not train through this injury, you need to stop training immediately and head to your nearest emergency room to get it looked at.
Do I need to see my doctor?
You’re definitely going to need to see a doctor for this one. You’ll have to have an x-ray confirm the diagnosis and to determine the correct treatment plan.
What treatments are there?
After you’ve had an X-ray then treatment would follow two paths. If the bones are well aligned then fracture will probably be treated conservatively; meaning it’ll be put in a brace or cast to immobilise it while the bone rejoin and then you’ll have a period of recovery and rehabilitation to get your strength and range of movement back. If the bones are not well aligned then surgery might be the only option, followed by the same immobilisation and rehab. Typically you’re talking between six and ten weeks to recover from a boxer’s fracture.
How do I prevent the injury reoccurring?
Improving your punching technique would be the best thing you could do to avoid this sort of injury and don’t start throwing power punches until landing correctly is second nature. Make sure your trainer is coaching you and checking your form. You can also make sure you get your daily calcium intake which can help make the bones in your hand stronger and potentially reduce the likelihood of a fracture occurring.
Please note that the team at Fight Quality have researched the causes and treatments of this injury, but the advice is not given by a qualified healthcare professional. If you are ever in doubt about the seriousness of an injury you should consult with a doctor or physiotherapist as they can do a full assessment of you as an individual and refer you for further diagnostics if needed.