Sprained Thumb

What is a Sprained Thumb?
A sprained thumb typically occurs when the thumb is overextended backwards outside of its normal range of motion.  As with all sprains the damage with this injury is usually done to the ligaments which become stretched out.  If you believe you have sprained your thumb then you should immediately apply ice to the injured area in order to help numb some of the pain that may be associated with this injury.  Along with the proper ice application it is important to stabilize the thumb with a brace to allow the ligaments in the surrounding region to heal.

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Medical Definition of a Sprained Thumb
A sprained thumb occurs when the thumb is extended out of its typical range of motion, causing damage to the metacarpal-phalangeal joint.  This is often times a very nagging injury due to the importance of the thumb in activities that involve pinching or grabbing.

Synonyms
- Thumb Sprain

What are the symptoms of a Sprained Thumb?
- Pain felt when the thumb is extended backwards
- Swelling of the thumb at the bottom of the joint
- Difficulty moving the injured thumb
- Site of sprained thumb may be sensitive to touch

Related Injuries
- Dislocated Thumb
-
Jammed Finger

Treatment of a Sprained Thumb
- Follow the RICE treatment principles
-
Apply ice 2-3 times a day for 20 minute intervals to help reduce the swelling
- Stabilize the thumb with the appropriate
brace or taping technique
- 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 (174-175)