Behandelingen & onderzoeken

Fifth metacarpal fracture

You have a minor fracture near the knuckle (fifth metacarpal fracture). This fracture is treated with tape and a pressure bandage.

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A fracture of the fifth metacarpal is a common injury. The fracture is treated with tape (buddy tape) and a pressure bandage for extra support.

0-1 week
  • Wear the buddy tape and pressure bandage.
  • Remove pressure bandage as soon as your pain allows this and keep wearing the buddy tape.
1-3 weeks
  • Remove the buddy tape as soon as your pain allows this.
3-6 weeks
  • You can start moving your hand.
After 6 weeks
  • Start sports.
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Follow these instructions for a good recovery.

  • Use your hand as you would normally as long as your pain allows you to do this, even when wearing the tape and pressure bandage.
  • You can remove the pressure bandage as soon as your pain allows you to do this.
  • You have to wear the buddy tape for at least a week. After 1 week you can remove the buddy tape when your pain allows you to do this. Wear the buddy tape for a maximum of 3 weeks.
  • Use a new pressure bandage and tape when you think this is necessary. You can buy new materials at the pharmacy or reuse the materials you got at the emergency department. You can find instructions on how to apply the pressure bandage in the Virtual fracture Care app and in this video.
  • This fracture is close to your joint. Start moving the hand to prevent your hand from getting stiff as soon as your pain allows you to do this. You can find exercises in the Virtual Fracture Care app and in this information.
  • Are you in pain? Use a mild pain killer such as acetaminophen. Do not wait with the use of acetaminophen until the pain is too much.
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  • This fracture almost always heals well with time and use
  • No specific treatment is required and routine follow-up is not necessary. It can take 6 weeks before you are able to use the hand.
  • As the bone heals a lump will form at the fracturesite and the knuckle will not be as prominent. This is normal, and unlikely to affect the function of your hand.
  • Physiotherapy is not necessary. If you are not satisfied with the function of your ankle after 6 weeks, you can ask for a referral to a physiotherapist from your general practitioner.
  • Does the pain increase, or does it not improve? Please contact the 'Breuklijn' (fracture hotline). See also the information at the bottom of this page.


After a fracture of the fifth metacarpal, stiffness and loss of strength can occur. The exercises described below can prevent this from happening. Initially gently move the hand and fingers and gradually resume daily activities within the limits of discomfort. Thereby you can start the exercises underneath, at least 3 times a day.

Massage the fingers

You start with a massage of the fingers. When you have (healed) scars, you can also massage those.

Hand bend and straighten

Bend and straighten your fingers so you feel a mild to moderate stretch. You can use your other arm to assist if necessary. Do not push into pain. You can start this exercise as soon as the pain allows you to do this.

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Virtual Fracture Care app

In our Virtual Fracture Care app, you can find more information about your injury. You can also find exercises here to improve your recovery. You can find the app in the Appstore (iPhone) and in the Google Store (Android). You can also scan the QR-code, automatically you will be transferred to the app.

Questions? Please call 'Breuklijn'

If there are any questions after reading this information, please call our 'Breuklijn' (fracture hotline) on workdays between 10.00-12.00.

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