Bennett fracture symptoms & Treatment by Dr. Vasudeva Juvvadi
The forced abduction of the first metacarpal may lead to the fracture of the base of the thumb. It is known as Bennett fracture (partial intra-articular). It is defined as an intra-articular two-part fracture of the base of the first metacarpal bone. Metacarpal base fractures are the most common thumb fractures. They account for almost 80% of fractures. A majority of the Bennett and Ronaldo fractures occur due to an application of axial force to the thumb in flexion.
Bennett Fracture Symptoms
Bennett’s fracture of the first carpometacarpal joint is associated with the following symptoms:
- A displaced fracture may cause visible deformity
- Warmness in the affected region (in an acute phase)
- Tenderness to touch
- Pain and swelling
- Ecchymosis over carpo metacarpal joint of the thumb
- Decreased grip strength and pinch grasp
Bennett Fracture Diagnosis
The other types of first metacarpal fractures include the gamekeeper’s thumb, extra-articular fractures, and Ronaldo fractures. Orthopedic doctors, first of all, try to differentiate and find a clue during palpation/examination of the area of injury. In a typical Bennet fracture, there is swelling and ecchymosis over the carpal metacarpal joint of the thumb, weakness in the pinch grip, and pain. In addition, the patient cannot perform tasks such as using a key and tying a shoelace.
On physical examination, the patient experiences pain with a range of motions – especially at the base of the thumb and the doctor notices tenderness to palpation at the CMC joint, swelling, and ecchymosis.
Bennett Fracture Radiology
An X-ray is ordered to diagnose Bennett Fracture. A CT scan may be ordered to know the extent of the damage. A CT scan shows intra-articular fracture and dislocation of the base of the first metacarpal.
In patients who do not receive treatment, Bennett fractures can lead to post-traumatic osteoarthritis. The untreated condition is associated with severe pain and functional impairment. Associated potential complications may include arthritis, nonunion or malunions, infection, and stiffness with contracture.
Bennett Fracture Treatment
Treatment ranges from splint immobilization for certain extra-articular fractures to surgical fixation for displaced Bennett or Rolando fractures. Closed reduction and percutaneous pin fixation, open reduction, and internal fixation are the treatment approaches. In some Bennet fractures, closed reduction and thumb spica cast immobilization are effective.
There are different non-surgical and surgical treatment approaches for the repair and fixation of Bennett fractures. If you are experiencing Bennett fracture symptoms, then meet Dr. Vasudeva Juvvadi – a renowned orthopedic doctor in Hyderabad.