What is a fracture of the hook of hamate?
A fracture of the hook of hamate refers to a break of a small bone on the base of your little finger, just above the wrist. Physiotherapy is a very effective treatment for a fracture of the hook of hamate.
What causes a fracture of the hook of hamate?
The hook of hamate is commonly fractured following a direct impact to the bone in the palm of the hand. This can happen, for example, whilst playing hockey when your club hits the ground instead of the puck. This can drive the handle of the stick into the palm breaking the hook of hamate.
What are the symptoms of a hook of hamate fracture?
A fracture of the hook of hamate produces pain on the little finger side of the palm and a weak grip. Other symptoms may include:
What should I do if I think I have a fractured hook of hamate?
A fractured hook of hamate requires immediate medical attention. If you have or suspect you have this injury you should cease go directly to an accident and emergency department. To help with your pain and control any swelling, you should apply ice to the palm. Ideally, this should be in the form of crushed ice wrapped in a moist towel or cloth applied for up to 20 minutes.
Fractured hook of hamate physiotherapy
Attendance to your accident and emergency department and correct diagnosis is important in the diagnosis of a fractured hook of hamate. You will need an X-ray or CT scan so the bones in your hand and wrist can be viewed. From this the most appropriate treatment can be decided. This may involve surgery to remove the broken piece of the hook of hamate, followed by a short period of immobilisation in a cast or splint.
Following removal of the cast or splint, a physiotherapist will reduce your pain, and be able to facilitate you to regain full flexibility in your joints and the return of strength in your muscles. Physiotherapy treatments can include:
What should I avoid if I have a fractured hook of hamate?
If you have or suspect you have fractured your hook of hamate, you shouldn’t use the injured hand until it has been assessed by a professional.
What are the long term effects of a hook of hamate fracture?
Unfortunately hook of hamate fractures often do not heal by themselves. This is because of difficulty in achieving good immobilisation of the fracture site. Immobilisation is required to enable the hook of hamate to reattach with the rest of the hamate bone. Because of te poor healing of the hook of hamate, surgical removal is frequently performed when it is fractured. Following surgical removal, there are no long-term effects and you often can resume normal activities within a couple of months. However, if during the fracture of the hook of hamate you injured neighbouring structures (i.e. nerves), this return may be prolonged.
To arrange a physiotherapy appointment call Physio.co.uk on 0330 088 7800 or book online.