Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Orthopedic Teaching

Hand Case 9 History/Physical Exam

Rolando's Fracture

History and Physical Exam

The typical mechanism of injury is an axial load to a partially flexed first metacarpal. Common scenarios include a closed-fist punch or the thumb jamming into a steering wheel during a MVC or into a handlebar during a bike crash.

Physical examination will often reveal swelling in the thenar eminence and a shortened or malrotated thumb.