A Bennetts’s fracture is an intra-articular fracture at the base of the thumb, with a dislocation or subluxation of the carpometacarpal (CMC) joint. Because it involves the joint surface, it is often significantly displaced and is very unstable. This type of fracture is often seen in sports such as football.
When the bone breaks, there is bleeding from the ends of the bone, which can cause swelling and subsequent stiffness – particularly in the fingers and thumbs.
If not properly diagnosed, a Bennett’s fracture can develop an uneven joint surface at the base of the thumb and create an environment favorable for late onset arthritis in the joint.
The primary treatment option for this type of fracture is reduction, which is pulling bones back into place. This may be done either open or closed in the operating room. A closed reduction does not require an incision, but will utilize a splint. An open reduction entails an incision in order to directly reposition the bones. They are then held in place with internal fixation, screws and/or wires.