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Forum Name: Bone trauma and fractures

Question: Conflicting reports


 5grahams - Fri May 11, 2007 11:20 am

I am a 31 year old female, and I play softball in a local co-ed church league. I was making a catch of a line drive hit by a man and because I was at a weird angle I put my right hand up to cover the ball in my mitt. Apparently it hit my bare hand first because the pain was immeadiate and so bad it was undescribable. There was swelling and brusing. I also had numbness and tingling in two fingers. Hubby took me to the ER where the doc sent for X-rays and then told me I had a nondisplaced fracture in one of the bones in my hand. I was put in a half cast type thing and told to follow up with ortho.

When I took the X-rays to the Dr.s office they had me see a physicians assistant. She said it was hard to tell, there was a spot on the x-ray that could be a fracture, and with the pain and brusing she felt it was probably fractured. (top of the 5th metacarpal) She put me in a wrist splint so I could use most of my fingers, and so I couldn't move the affected bone in my hand. She said it will take 6 weeks to heal. I go back in 2 weeks to have more x-rays to look for calcium deposits which I guess is a sign of healing? Now the weird part.

The radiology report at the hospital has now come back saying there was no evidence of a fracture. So now I have conflicting reports and have no idea if it is broken or not. I am in a great deal of pain, and am not sure what steps to take next. I hate not knowing if it is in fact broken or not. Which person should I go with? The ER Doc, the radiologist, or the PA at the Ortho's office?
 Dr. Chan Lowe - Mon May 28, 2007 2:19 pm

User avatar There are a few possibilities. One is that you do not have a fracture. In this case, your pain is likely due to severe bruising of the bone/ligaments/muscles in the area that can take several weeks to begin to improve. Treatment is with rest and time.

The other, I suspect more likely, possibility is that you do have a fracture. Orthopedists will treat injuries as if they are fractured even if the x-rays are not completely consistent. While most fractures will show up on x-ray some do not. Generally, you would see the calcifications that you are mentioning if there was a fracture but this is not a guarantee. Treatment in this case is rest (using the splint) and time.

Fortunately, which ever the actual case is the treatment is really the same. I would recommend continuing to wear your splint and resting the hand as much as possible.

If your pain is not improving over the next week or so you should follow up with your doctor.

Best wishes.

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