What To Do If You’ve Smashed Your Hand With A Hammer

Working with a hammer can be dangerous even for the most seasoned construction professionals, so it's no wonder that homeowners often get hurt by one. If you were working with a hammer and accidentally hit a finger or your hand, you need to seek medical support. Here's why and what you should do.

Underlying Damage

Hammers are extremely strong and can easily damage bones if they hit in just the right way. This is true of larger bones, which means that the smaller, delicate bones in the hands are particularly vulnerable to being damaged by a hammer.

If you've hit your hand with a hammer, you need to get medical care to ensure that there isn't serious damage done to the bones in your hands. You may not be able to tell just by looking and feeling, and if you don't seek help and do have a fracture, your hand may heal wrong and end up becoming less flexible and weak as a result.


Another big problem with hitting your hand with a hammer is that typically, extreme swelling follows. This is usually because small blood vessels have been damaged or burst when they were struck, so leaking blood is filling up your hand. This is essentially a severe bruise, otherwise known as a hematoma.

While small bruises can usually just go away on their own without any external treatment, severe hematomas require medical care. The bleeding may not stop without medical attention. In addition, your hand will continue to swell as more blood comes out, and without treatment, you may even experience an infection as a result.

Getting Help

This kind of incident is the exact reason why urgent care facilities exist, so head to one right away. Urgent care facilities are equipped to handle problems like these, and if they find that you have severe damage like a broken bone, they'll transfer you to a hospital for further treatment.

In the meantime, your urgent care provider can x-ray your hand to look for significant damage. They'll also use a syringe to hygienically drain the blood from your hand so that the swelling comes down and your pain will immediately go down, too.

If everything looks good on the inside, you'll likely be sent home with directions to use an icepack, avoid using your hand, and if need be, some antibiotics in order to prevent any infection from occurring.

For more information, contact a local urgent care clinic like Walk-In Family Medicine Center.