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.