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Dr. M. Lahkar
Dr. M. Lahkar, Doctor (MD)
Category: Health
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Experience:  MD in Radiodiagnosis
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My son (20 yrs old) recently fractured the 4th metacarpal

Resolved Question:

My son (20 yrs old) recently fractured the 4th metacarpal bone in his left hand. The fracture was not severely displaced and my son demonstrated acceptable movement of the ring finger and he could clench the fingers in a fist when the specialist asked him to do so. His first opinion was to splint the fracture and let it heal, but a second set of x-rays showed that that the fracture might have displaced a bit. The hand specialist identified it as an oblique fracture. He recommended screws or K-Wires to set it properly. My son is a lead guitarist in a band. My question pertains to the amount of trauma and pain associated with screw fixation or k-wire insertion. The specialist said that the entire procedure would be less than an hour and it would be on an outpatient basis.

                     Sam
               (Concerned Dad)
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Dr. M. Lahkar replied 6 years ago.
Hi, the treatment of metacarpal fracture with K wire fixation or screws is known as open / operative reduction and is performed under anaesthesia. So, during the procedure, no or little pain may be felt. Following the procedure, pain relievers or analgesics will be prescribed to counteract any operative pain. The average healing time for this fracture is 6 to 8 weeks. Healing is considered complete when there is no motion at the fracture site and when X-rays show complete bone union. Here is a website for reference.

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Dr. M. Lahkar, Doctor (MD)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 1348
Experience: MD in Radiodiagnosis
Dr. M. Lahkar and 9 other Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Thank you for the quick response. I'm basically looking to find out if this type of surgery is associated with a higher degree of pain because of the complexity of the hand. Also, which of the two procedures that I described to you is less traumatic?

                         Sam.
Expert:  Dr. M. Lahkar replied 6 years ago.
Hi, at this moment the most important thing to consider is the surgical procedure with best results. The surgery with K wire fixation may produce greater amount of pain as the the wires or screws (as preferred) will pierce the bone from end to end. In case of splinting, the finger has to be kept in flexion with an upward force applied with the help of a splint which doesnot require piercing of the bone. But with oblique or transverse fractures, as the degree of angulation / displacement of the fracture is more, K wire is preferred to splinting to get optimum results.


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Dr. M. Lahkar
Dr. M. Lahkar
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MD in Radiodiagnosis