Hand Fracture Workup

Updated: Oct 17, 2015
  • Author: Erik D Schraga, MD; Chief Editor: Trevor John Mills, MD, MPH  more...
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Workup

Imaging Studies

In ED, plain radiography is the diagnostic test of choice to evaluate potential hand fractures. [2]

Standard radiographs include AP, lateral, and oblique views. Example radiographs are shown below.

Phalangeal fractures. Complex unstable fracture of Phalangeal fractures. Complex unstable fracture of the proximal phalanx. Image courtesy of Mark Baratz, MD.
Displaced fourth and fifth metacarpal fractures, a Displaced fourth and fifth metacarpal fractures, anteroposterior view.
Fourth and fifth metacarpal fractures, oblique vie Fourth and fifth metacarpal fractures, oblique view.

Special imaging studies, such as MRI, CT, and bone scans, seldom are needed in ED to evaluate hand injuries.

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Procedures

Patients in severe pain or those who require reduction may be anesthetized by metacarpal or wrist nerve blocks.

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