A variety of complications can affect the hand after a person punches something.


Punching may occur:

(1) during a fight with someone else

(2) hitting a punching bag

(3) during sport

(4) striking an inanimate object when angry


Hazards of punching:

(1) metatarsal fracture (boxer fracture, other)

(2) fracture of carpal bones (scaphoid, hamate, capitate, other)

(3) fracture of the distal radius

(4) laceration with hemorrhage (from glass, metal, etc)

(5) bite injury (if punching someone else) with bacterial infection

(6) environmental contamination with infection

(7) foreign body

(8) bruising or soft tissue injury


Problems can occur if:

(1) A fracture is missed on imaging studies.

(2) The potential seriousness of the injury is underestimated.

(3) A wound is not properly cleaned and debrided.

(4) The patient is not given tetanus prophylaxis.

(5) The patient does not receive antibiotics if indicated.


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