Podcast 538:  Low Maintenance Boxer’s Fracture - The Emergency Medical Minute

Podcast 538:  Low Maintenance Boxer’s Fracture

Contributor: Jared Scott, MD

Educational Pearls:

  • A distal 5th metacarpal neck fracture is often referred to as a “boxer’s fracture” and a common fracture encountered in the emergency department
  • Splinting with an ulnar gutter splint is the typical management of uncomplicated boxer’s fractures
  • A recent study randomized patients to buddy taping or ulnar gutter splint for uncomplicated Boxer’s fractures.
  • Similar functional and pain outcomes were found at follow-up, and those in the buddy taping group returned to work more quickly.  
  • One limitation was nearly 20% of study patients were lost to follow up

Editor’s note: remember – this only applies to a true boxer’s fracture, which is a distal 5th metacarpal neck fracture, not just any 5th metacarpal shaft fracture


Richard Pellatt, Igor Fomin, Carli Pienaar, Randipsingh Bindra, Michael Thomas, Ezekiel Tan, Cindy Mervin, Ping Zhang, Gerben Keijzers. Is Buddy Taping as Effective as Plaster Immobilization for Adults With an Uncomplicated Neck of Fifth Metacarpal Fracture? A Randomized Controlled Trial, Annals of Emergency Medicine, Volume 74, Issue 1, 2019, Pages 88-97,

Summarized by Will Dewispelaere, MS4 | Edited by Erik Verzemnieks, MD

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Stay up to date by
joining our mailing list!