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  • Writer's pictureRandon Hall, MD

Lebron James Suffers Serious Hand Injury in NBA Finals

Lebron Sustains Serious Hand Injury

Lebron James sustained a likely serious hand injury after the overtime game versus the Golden State Warriors in Game 1 of the NBA finals. It is reported that James' injury occurred after punching the blackboard in anger after the game. In his post game interview he states "I let the emotions get the best of me and pretty much played the last three games with a broken hand" The details are lacking in the reports, but there are a few different things that might have happened. Conflicting reports state he sustained a "serious" injury that was considered a severe bone contusion and others state he sustained a fracture. A fracture can occur anywhere along the bone, but the most frequent locations are the head, neck, shaft or base (pictured above). In Lebron's case he likely suffered a Boxer's Fracture if there is actually a fracture confirmed. Reports state that he had two MRI's however that would make the diagnosis less likely to be a fracture as one would be able to see a fracture pretty easily.

Metacarpal Fracture Insights

The metacarpal bones are located below the large knuckles when the hand is in a fist. A few different types of fractures can occur when striking an object with your fist, however the most likely fracture is a metacarpal neck fracture (photo below). It is possible to treat these many of these types of fractures without surgery. Usually these occur with a forward bend to the bone causing a deformity over the back of the hand. Again, these fractures can be treated non-operatively, but it depends on the angulation of the fracture. An important precaution with hand fractures is to make sure there is no rotational component of the fracture, causing the fingers to cross when one makes a fist. If the rotation is missed and not repaired, an athlete may develop inability to perform certain tasks with the hand.

Fifth Metacarpal Neck Fracture (Boxer's Fracture)

This fracture is called a Boxer's Fracture, as it usually occurs from punching something with a closed fist. Surgical recommendations depend upon the angle at which the fracture is positioned.

Photo by Chuck D under creative commons

Photo by Chuck D under creative commons


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1 Comment

Steven Holman
Steven Holman
Oct 13, 2022

Thank You for this article, it was very easy to read and understand.


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