While it’s a common injury, a jammed thumb is actually an injured tendon or bone located at the tip of thumb. Also referred to as skier’s thumb, mallet finger, or baseball finger, a jammed thumb occurs when there is blunt force applied to the thumb and the thumb bends at an awkward angle. Most notably a sports injury, the symptoms of a jammed thumb are redness, pain, and swelling of the thumb.
To help define the severity of this injury, if you suspect that you have a jammed thumb, try to see how much mobility your thumb has. If it is too painful to move at all, it is most likely a fracture of the bone, if your thumb is capable of motion, but you find it very painful to move, then you are likely to be facing an injured tendon or a sprain. In either case, the next recommended step is to seek medical attention.
Diagnosing a jammed thumb requires a physical examination from your physician and an X-ray. With a physical exam, the doctor will be able to assess the amount of damage done and with an X-ray, your doctor can check for signs of any bone fracture. Regardless of which underlying condition you may be experiencing, your doctor will likely recommend a cast for more serious breaks, or a wrist brace support with thumb spica (specialized thumb support) for less serious injuries.
Jammed Thumb Treatment
When shopping for a wrist brace, here are a few things to keep in mind to find the best possible fit. First, look for one that accommodates your body structure – a petite woman would need a far different wrist support than a man who lifts weights. Always keep your body type in mind. Second, look for one that offers support in all the areas on need it in. In this case, a thumb spica is essential to your healing. If you are fortunate enough to be able to bypass the cast in favor of the splint, then you should look for a splint or wrist brace that allows all your remaining fingers to move as freely as possible while your thumb is immobilized.
Finally, look at the wrist braces material. Many people find the moisture wicking fabric to be exceedingly comfortable in the heat of summer, and also keep in mind that some wrist braces are universal (right or left hand compatibility) and some even have an opening for an specially crafted ice pack, to help you minimize swelling to your problem areas. And, always look for the wrist brace with the best craftsmanship – you’ll be using it daily for several weeks, you want one that is going to last you through this healing process.