1. #1

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    Bar Room Fracture

    Some years back, I fractured my fifth right metacarpal on a forehead. (I was concussed, with a pupil blown, and took a swing at the guy's jaw and badly missed) The doctor called it a green stick boxer's fracture, but according to the great and all-knowing Wikipedia this particular injury is called a bar room fracture. Whatever.

    Regardless, the thing happened and now I have a question. How likely is this to reoccur? I'm starting a legit MMA program soon, and just want to know if there's any precautions I should take to prevent it.

    How well do MMA-style gloves protect the hand? I assume wraps would provide the same protection via stabilizing pressure as in boxing, but I don't know anything about MMA gloves.

  2. #2
    Mr. Machette's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schroederist View Post
    Some years back, I fractured my fifth right metacarpal on a forehead. (I was concussed, with a pupil blown, and took a swing at the guy's jaw and badly missed) The doctor called it a green stick boxer's fracture, but according to the great and all-knowing Wikipedia this particular injury is called a bar room fracture. Whatever.

    Regardless, the thing happened and now I have a question. How likely is this to reoccur? I'm starting a legit MMA program soon, and just want to know if there's any precautions I should take to prevent it.

    How well do MMA-style gloves protect the hand? I assume wraps would provide the same protection via stabilizing pressure as in boxing, but I don't know anything about MMA gloves.
    fractured the same bone in a motorcycle accident and it was waaaaay worse than a greenstick. Looked like a snapped chicken bone in the x-ray.

    It still smarts for a few days every time I knock a man out.

    Best advice; punch correctly or take up kicking.

  3. #3

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    Man, that sounds way worse. Mine was cracked like a wishbone and split lengthwise down the middle about an inch toward the first knuckle, and the outside of my hand swelled up to about 3/4 the size of a baseball. I guess I'll just have to see what happens once I get to sparring or an actual fight.

  4. #4
    Mr. Machette's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schroederist View Post
    Man, that sounds way worse. Mine was cracked like a wishbone and split lengthwise down the middle about an inch toward the first knuckle, and the outside of my hand swelled up to about 3/4 the size of a baseball. I guess I'll just have to see what happens once I get to sparring or an actual fight.
    The usual rules apply. Tape up your hands. Don't favor the fourth and fifth knuckle when you punch.
    Good luck and I hope your hand is well healed!

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Schroederist View Post
    Some years back, I fractured my fifth right metacarpal on a forehead. (I was concussed, with a pupil blown, and took a swing at the guy's jaw and badly missed) The doctor called it a green stick boxer's fracture, but according to the great and all-knowing Wikipedia this particular injury is called a bar room fracture. Whatever.

    Regardless, the thing happened and now I have a question. How likely is this to reoccur? I'm starting a legit MMA program soon, and just want to know if there's any precautions I should take to prevent it.

    How well do MMA-style gloves protect the hand? I assume wraps would provide the same protection via stabilizing pressure as in boxing, but I don't know anything about MMA gloves.
    Hi,

    I'm a student doctor of physical therapy. So I might know a few more things than just wikipedia.

    Word of advice. If you're having complications and like to return to sport. I'd recommend seeing a physical therapist. He will recommend exercises for you to increase the stability of your hand to stabilize and prepare you for boxing. These will most likely include very gradual weight bearing exercises.

  6. #6

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    Same thing happened to me in a bar fight.... compound fracture of the 4th metacarpal. Bone split through my skin... it was gross. Had a metal plate and screws put in. Have had it in there for almost 20 years. Trained both striking and grappling and never had an issue other than occasional slight discomfort.

  7. #7
    Ice Hole's Avatar
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    There's a great reason why it's called a bar room fracture, and a shitload of great medical data and analysis out there studying it, because drunken brawls between poor (or just drunk) strikers comprise a large fraction of all ER injuries related to closed fist punching (not to mention, your gender, and your likelihood of having mental disorders).

    So if you're a nutty and/or aggressive male, you have a far greater chance at sustaining one of these injuries from a punch than if you're a sane female, and the most likely place you'll sustain the injury is in a drinking establishment.

    Your chances of getting this injury in a gym is going to be low as long as you're being taught well and you aren't being careless with your hands.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3088367/
    Last edited by Ice Hole; 6/16/2015 4:55pm at .

  8. #8

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    Thanks for the responses, guys. This thread has done a good job of easing my mind about the whole thing. I'm a little overcautious about my hands these days because of how careless I've been with them in the past (as a result of being a somewhat nutty and aggressive male in those days). Apart from the barroom fracture and battered knuckles of my right hand, I also put my left through a table saw about 10 years ago, thankfully only the fingers, which trust me was bad enough. For whatever reason I'm not at all worried about that hand, since the way my fingers were reconstructed makes the resulting fist a weirdly shaped but completely solid rock. Still not worth all the pain and having to completely relearn how to use the hand, but it could have been much worse.

    It looks like I'll be starting training in the next few weeks with either King Webb's crew in Seguin or Eddie Diaz in San Marcos, provided we aren't all swept away to the Gulf by then.

  9. #9
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    You'll be fine champ. I've broken my metacarpal plenty of times. By plenty I mean three.

    It hurts when it rains, but if I wear gloves punching dudes in the face doesn't hurt.


    And elbowtko, don't you ever think you know more then Wikipedia.

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    3moose1 is correct. Sig THAT, you fucker.

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    I went out with a delightful young woman who was on a regimen of pills that made her taste of burned onions.
    That is not conducive to passionate cunnilingus, my friend, let me assure you.
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    I agree with moosey

  10. #10

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    Been there, done that..a couple of times. If ur allowed to make tape bumpers, (not just wraps) i used to pack up my missing knuckles with tape and/or foam. In hindsight i should've used lead.
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