bennett fracture

A Bennett fracture is a broken bone at the base of the thumb where the thumb metacarpal bone meets the wrist. A fracture of the base of the thumb can disrupt the joint surface and cause instability, like a chipped golf tee has trouble holding a golf ball. This can result in partial dislocation, or “subluxation”, of the thumb. If not treated, this will lead to decreased motion and arthritis.

Bennett fracture usually occur following a fall onto or impaction injury of the thumb. X-rays are essential for diagnosis.


  • Surgery is usually recommended to “put the golf ball back on the tee”. Aligning the bone improves pain and motion, and decreased arthritis risk.

  • During the outpatient procedure, the fracture is lined up, and usually 2 temporary pins are placed through the skin to hold the fracture in place.

  • Pins are removed in the office approximately 3 weeks later, then motion is started. Healing typically takes 6-8 weeks, and usually requires therapy to optimize results.

Dr. Schreiber is a board certified orthopedic surgeon specializing in hand, wrist, and elbow conditions. Dr. Schreiber practices at the Raleigh Orthopaedic Clinic in Raleigh, North Carolina.