Return to play following metacarpal fractures in football players



Metacarpal fractures are common in football players and lead to time away from competition, but current operative treatment data is limited. The purpose of this study was to examine demographics and outcomes of football players who underwent operative fixation for metacarpal fractures.


Retrospective review from 2009 to 2012 of any football player surgically treated at one institution for a metacarpal fracture. Charts were reviewed for player position, level of competition, mechanism of injury, return to play, postoperative bracing, and re-fracture event. Current information was obtained via phone interviews with the patient and their athletic trainers. Fractures were classified by radiographic analysis.


Twenty injuries in ten high school players, nine college players, and one recreational player were identified. The most common injured position was wide receiver (six cases) followed by defensive back (five cases). Most injuries occurred through player-to-player contact (12 cases). The long finger (11 cases) was most commonly involved metacarpal. Two players had multiple metacarpal fractures. The most common location was mid-diaphyseal (15 cases). The mean return to play for all in-season athletes was 6.3 days (range 1–21). Protective splints were used for an average of 21 days (range 14–36). All athletes returned to their preinjury level of play without recurrence of fracture or wound complication.


Football players who required surgical fixation of a metacarpal fracture demonstrated an efficient return to play, including in-season players with use of protective bracing.

Study Design

Case series, Level of evidence, IV


Metacarpal fractures Football players Operative Return to play Bracing

Autor / Fonte:Brian E Etier, Anthony J Scillia, Darin D Tessier, Kyle T Aune, Benton A Emblom, Jeffery R Dugas, E Lyle Cain Hand: Official Journal of the American Association for Hand Surgery 2015, 10 (4): 762-6