Due to the rarity and often discrete nature of hamate body fractures, timely diagnosis requires a high level of suspicion on the part of the clinician. Here, the authors have compiled the findings from 6 cohort studies and 33 case reports describing hamate body fractures in order to summarize the natural history, management, and outcomes of these infrequent injuries.

Fractures of the hamate body typically occur in the coronal plane through axial loading of the metacarpals or loading in the transverse plane by a compressive force. Standard radiographs of the wrist frequently miss hamate fractures. Oblique and carpal tunnel views can be obtained when a fracture of the hamate is suspected. Advanced imaging with high-resolution computed tomography should also be considered if radiographs are negative and high suspicion for fracture remains or for the purpose of pre-operative planning. Co-existing injuries often include subluxation or dislocation of the 4th and 5th metacarpals with or without fracture. Non-displaced injuries that are stable may be treated non-operatively with immobilization. Displaced or unstable fracture patterns typically require closed reduction and percutaneous pinning versus open reduction internal fixation in order to restore anatomical alignment and maximize outcomes. Hamate body fractures are uncommon fractures of the carpus. When appropriately treated, patients with hamate body fractures usually recover full pain-free range of motion and preserved grip strength. Complications are usually secondary to late presentation or noncompliance.

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