Bennets Fracture | Physio4Life

Bennets Fracture

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Bennets Fracture




A very common injury among cyclists, gymnasts and anyone that routinely takes weight through the hand?  A Bennett’s fracture involves the long bone in your thumb where is attaches to the smaller wrist bones.  It is a serious injury as (if poorly managed) it can limit the use of your hand well after recovery.  However, modern assessment procedures mean that this injury need not be complicated at all.


It usually arises because of a compression or force down along the bone towards the wrist.  This  causes the thumb to shear away from the small wrist bone it connects to and it can fracture during this event.  The muscular and ligament attachments in this area mean that the bone fragment and the main bone can be pulled away from each other – this means that surgery is likely if this is the case.





Occurs following a trauma to the hand (fall or impact as described).


Pain and swelling and bruising around your wrist and thumb.


Loss of thumb function and it may be held in a different position to normal (the pain is made worse by movement and so altering the position may help limit the pain).


Pain my radiate into the palm of the hand and wrist





Clinical questioning highlighting a trauma and presence of pain over the base of the thumb.  Further clinical assessment will involve feeling the sore area and checking for any deformity and limitations to movement of the thumb and wrist.  With bruising and swelling (coupled with a history of trauma) a fracture may be suspected.


If this is the case, an X-Ray will help to confirm the diagnosis.







This injury will usually require an orthopaedic doctor review.  This could include surgical intervention to fix the two ends together again, but will definitely include immobilisation in plaster for around 4-6weeks.  Management of swelling and pain using ice and anti inflammatory medication


When out of the cast, physiotherapy (manual and exercise based) will help release any tight tissue around the area and to mobilise the bones in the area local to the fracture.  Following the injury and the immobilisation, they will have been still for a long time and will be stiff.  This will reduce the amount of movement and strength in the thumb and wrist.  The physiotherapy will target this directly.










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