Hand bone fractures

Hand bone fractures of any type are treated in the Microsurgery Center. The Emergency Medicine and Patient Admission Clinic of the Riga Eastern Clinical University Hospital is the only place in Latvia where the help of a hand surgeon of the Microsurgery Center is available 24/7. For patients with a suspected fracture of arm bones, we recommend seeking medical advice on the day of injury or the first days following the injury. In simple cases, when the fracture is not dislocated (the bone is located in the anatomically correct position) and is stable, a plaster cast will be applied to the patient. If the fracture has displacement or is instable (possible fracture displacement), surgical treatment is necessary. Particular caution is applied for a scaphoid fracture. The professionals of the Microsurgery Center are specialised in the treatment of scaphoid fractures. It is the most commonly fractured carpal bone.

As a result of improper treatment of this hand bone fracture, over many years, joint inflammation (arthritis) and degeneration develops, often ending with complete disability due to permanent pain. If the fracture of the hand bone is not complicated and is diagnosed early (during the first two weeks), then treatment is simple (plaster cast), worn for a period of 8 to 12 weeks at most. However, if such treatment is unsuccessful (5 to 10%), then hand surgery with pelvic bone transplantation is necessary or transplantation of (live) bone with blood supply from the patient’s radius. A patient with a fracture of any carpal bone should be prepared for long-term treatment. Smoking reduces the healing potential significantly.

Duration of the surgery: on average 30 min to 1.5 hours.

Anaesthesia: regional or general.

Treatment: in an out-patient setting.

Convalescence: following the surgery, local discomfort and pain may occur, which is well controlled with analgesic tablets. Wounds heal in 2 weeks. During the postoperative period the patient has to wear a plaster cast and change dressings 2 to 3 times a week. After two weeks the skin sutures are removed. The patient will need ergotherapy and movement training for the fingers and arm.

Result: treatment results depend on the type of fracture and the performance of treatment in due time. Therefore it is important to visit the doctor in due time if an arm bone fracture is suspected.

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