5th Metacarpal Neck Fracture

You have a minor break near the knuckle and it will usually settle in three weeks.

What should I expect and what can I do to help my hand to heal?

It may take six weeks or longer before your hand returns to normal.

The finger strapping may help the pain and allow early movement.

Because the break can be close to the joint you must move your fingers and hand as soon as possible even if this means overcoming the discomfort.

After one week remove the strapping and use your hand as normally as possible. This will not cause further damage, but heavy lifting may be sore for six to eight weeks and it may take several months for the hand to feel normal again.

Hand grip is generally very good after this type of injury.

As the bone heals a lump will form at the break site and the knuckle will not be as prominent.

There will be shortening of the finger expected as a consequence of the injury.

Rotational Deformity


If you notice that your little finger rotates under your ring finger as shown in the photograph you should report this to your hospitals fracture clinic or accident and emergency / minor injuries unit.

This may require a procedure to correct this as if it heals like this your grip strength / hand function could be effected.



Neighbour Strapping

 In the early phase of your injury you may wish to strap your little and ring fingers together.  This splints the finger and will provide pain relief.

To do this insert a piece of gauze between the fingers (to absorb sweat / allow moisture to be wicked away) and tape at the base and middle of the fingers.

Avoid taping over the creases on the fingers as this will reduce your ability to move the joints.

A video on how to apply neighbour strapping can be found here.

Physio advice

This exercise might aid in maintaining the mobility of the affected limb. Perform this exercise within your pain limitations and do not force your joint through the movement.

To help circulation, reduce swelling and to maintain the movement of the fingers regularly open and close your hand.

Contacts / Further information

For any queries in relation to your injury or for further advise please contact your local Emergency department minor injuries or contact the NHS service on 111.