Fractures of the bones of the hand are among the commonest fractures in humans, but their management varies widely in the different regions of the world. This variability is due to many reasons, including availability of resources, social factors, geographic constraints, surgeon preference and experience, and local practice patterns. Developing countries are more likely to apply less expensive methods of managing hand fractures. The treatment of these injuries will fall somewhere along a continuum that parallels the historical development of hand fracture management. This paper will review the history of phalangeal and metacarpal fracture management to infer global differences in the treatment of hand fractures. An overview of how different health care systems are likely to manage these injuries will assist health care providers in choosing the most appropriate treatment method.