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Broken Thumb & A-Rod: How Athletes Cope

Broken Thumb

ARod's Broken ThumbFor a baseball player, your arms and hands are essential tools. In fact, a broken thumb injury can be a game stopper. This is exactly what happened to New York Yankees’ star, Alex Rodriquez. His thumb was so sore that it was hurting his performance. He had to have an MRI done to see if it was broken.

Lucky for him, the test result was negative. He did not have a broken bone. Instead, he was diagnosed with a sprained thumb. However, it  may still require constant monitoring and regular trips to the doctor’s clinic.

During all this time, A-Rod was out of the lineup for their games agains Oakland and maybe longer. This thumb injury meant lost play time for A-Rod. It also meant a change in the team’s lineup. I am sure that the coaches had questions.

How Common is a Broken Thumb?

  • Athletes who regularly use their arms, especially their fingers, usually suffer a sprained thumb from time-to-time. This is mainly due to constant wear and tear on the area.
  • In some cases, it happens with a high-impact crash on something hard.

How is a Thumb Injury Diagnosed?

  • Diagnosing a sprained thumb is easy.
  • Imaging studies, such as an X-ray and MRI, can also be done to identify other problems in the area such as a broken bone.
  • With this done, treatment can begin.

How is a Thumb Injury Treated?

  • The ligament that supports the grasp and pinch mechanism of the arms becomes torn which causes severe pain and temporary disability.
  • If a partial tear is present, immobilizing the thumb joint using a splint or a bandage is the best option until the thumb heals.
  • Recovery will probably take about four-to-five weeks for complete recovery.
  • If the ligament is found wholly torn, surgery is the only option for treatment.
  • Surgery will involve the ligament being positioned back or removed according to the degree of injury.
  • After surgery, a cast or a splint is applied to the arm that may take about eight weeks to recover.

How Can a Thumb Injury be Prevented?

  • There is not much you can do to prevent thumb sprains, especially for baseball stars who constantly use the same arm to pitch or hit a bat.
  • Nevertheless, one proven effective way to reduce swelling and avoid sprain is to apply ice to the thumb after a training or game.
  • In addition, strength of the hand muscles must be increased while maintaining the flexibility of the joints to stay away from breaking the thumb.
  • You can prevent recurrence of the injury by allowing the sprained thumb to heal thoroughly before returning to a game or practice.
  • Hand exercises should be performed regularly to maintain the strength and stability of the injured thumb.

For the weeks to follow, the Yankees may have to put up a good game without A-Rod. The injury may be something minor but a broken thumb can be incapacitating to an athlete who depends so much on his arms and hands.

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