Rolando fracture: Comminuted T- or Y-shaped intra-articular three-part fracture through the base of the first metacarpal (thumb) first described by Silvio Rolando (1873-1949) in 1910.

Commonly referred to as an ‘intra-articular thumb metacarpal base fracture with three or more segments’ or a comminuted Bennett fracture. This is an unstable injury that requires surgical reduction and fixation. Current treatment is an external fixator accompanied by the tension band wiring.

Rolando fracture thumb metacarpal
Rolando fracture

NOTE: Comminuted two-part base of first metacarpal fracture known eponymously as Bennett fracture, first described by Edward Hallaran Bennett in 1882

History of the Rolando fracture

1910Silvio Rolando publishes ‘Fracture de la base du premier metacarpien’.

I have found that there exists a type of fracture of the base of the first metacarpal that has not yet been described as far as I know. This fracture that I have noticed in 3 cases of 10 of base fractures follows an injury acting along the longitudinal axis of the metacarpal. It has a Y form and cannot be distinguished from a Bennett fracture without radiographic studies, and like the Bennett fracture, it has to have a special kind of treatment.

Rolando 1910; 33: 303–304
Associated Persons
Alternative names
  • Rolando’s fracture
  • Intra-articular thumb metacarpal base fracture with three or more segments
  • Rolando S. Fracture de la base du premier metacarpien et principalement sur une variété non encore décrite. Presse Med 1910; 33: 303–304. [Translated Meals RA. Fracture of the base of the first metacarpal and a variation that has not yet been described. Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2006 Apr;445:15-8. PMID8641081]
  • Proubasta IR. Rolando’s fracture of the first metacarpal. Treatment by external fixation. J Bone Joint Surg Br. 1992 May;74(3):416-7. [PMID 1587892]
  • Howard FM. Fractures of the basal joint of the thumb. Clin Orthop Relat Res. 1987 Jul;(220):46-51. [PMID 3595009]
  • Edmunds JO. Traumatic dislocations and instability of the trapeziometacarpal joint of the thumb. Hand Clin. 2006 Aug;22(3):365-92. [PMID 16843802]
  • Sood A, Granick MS. Rolando Fracture. Eplasty. 2014; 14: ic16. [PMC4052793]

eponymictionary CTA


the names behind the name

Emergency physician MA (Oxon) MBChB (Edin) FACEM FFSEM with a passion for rugby; medical history; medical education; and asynchronous learning #FOAMed evangelist. Co-founder and CTO of Life in the Fast lane | Eponyms | Books | Twitter |

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