Dislocated Thumb

What is a Dislocated Thumb?
A dislocated thumb occurs when the ligaments around the thumb tear which causes the thumb to move out of place. These ligaments help to stabilize the thumb and help guide its range of motion. In most cases you should be able to place the thumb back into position on your own or with the assistance of another person. If the thumb doesn’t regain its proper positioning, it is important to seek immediate medical attention to avoid further damage that may be caused from the thumb being out of socket for long periods of time. 

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Medical Definition of a Dislocated Thumb
The thumb is a very mobile joint and due to this mobility, there is an increased likelihood of dislocation that occurs at this joint. Because of the mobility of this joint, dislocations here are far more common than at the digits. There are two types of thumb dislocations, dorsal and lateral, each with an equal prevalence.  Dorsal dislocations occur with extreme hyperextension or shearing forces, and are quite easy to diagnose.  Lateral dislocations are more difficult to diagnose, due to the thumb only presenting with local pain and swelling.

Synonyms
- Thumb Dislocation

What are the symptoms of a Dislocated Thumb?
- Swelling of the thumb
- Difficulty moving the dislocated thumb
- Increased swelling causes the thumb to look deformed, losing its natural shape
- Site of dislocated thumb may be sensitive to touch

Related Injuries
- Sprained Thumb
-
Jammed Finger

Treatment of Dislocated Thumb
- Seek medical attention to ensure that there is not a fracture that has occurred
-
Apply ice 2-3 times a day for 20 minute intervals to help reduce the swelling
- Stabilize the thumb with the appropriate
brace
- Proper usage of
NSAIDS to help alleviate pain and inflammation

Related Anatomy
- Fingers
-
Hand

References
Robert Simon and Steven Koenigsknecht (4th ed). (2001). Emergency Orthopedics the Extremities: McGraw-Hill Medical Publishing Division (175)