Thumb Injury Making You All Thumbs?

Thumb Injury 101

A thumb injury is difficult to recover from. It is interesting to not how much we use our hands/thumbs each day. From tasks big to small, we don’t even think about the role our thumbs play. Our thumbs give us the ability to grasp objects. They allow us to drive a car. Our thumbs help us sign our name. The list of tasks we do thanks to our thumbs is virtually endless.

Did you know?

  • Did you know that 1 in 6 injuries treated in the E.R. are injuries to the hand or wrist including the thumb?
  • Thumb injuries can and do vary.
  • No one is really immune to this injury. Athletes and active people can sustain a thumb injury.
  • A jammed thumb or a thumb sprain happens when the thumb is bent back. This can happen when you brace yourself from a fall. It can also occur when the thumb is struck by a solid object.
  • A thumb strain is more often found in people that do repetitive motion. This occurs over an extended period of time.
  • A broken thumb is often caused by a closed fist striking a hard, immovable object.
  • Gamekeeper’s Thumb is an injury where the UCL is torn. This happens at the base of the thumb. This injury is named for a common sport’s injury. The gamekeepers often suffered from this injury at the time it was medically discovered. Now, it is very common among skiers. This is due to how they use/grip their hands.
  • Virtually anyone can suffer from a thumb injury. The bones in the wrist and hand are so fragile. It’s a wonder there aren’t injuries to the thumb more often.

Did You Know – Part 2?

A few basic steps can have you feeling better after a thumb injury. Much of the healing is basic common sense. Still, it never hurts to brush up on basic first aid. This will help you manage a thumb injury.

  • First – Swelling will be the most noticeable and problematic issue to deal with. If you have any type of thumb injury, treating the swelling should be your first priority. Ice the swollen area for 15-20 minutes every hour, until you can see the swelling go down.
  • Second – Take an over-the-counter pain reliever to help manage the pain.
  • Third – See a doctor. This will ensure that there aren’t any broken bones or fractures.
  • Fourth and final tip – Get a good wrist brace with thumb support (thumb spica), to help speed the healing.

If not properly treated, thumb injuries can often lead to early onset arthritis. It’s best to treat any thumb injury as soon as possible. Follow all of the treatment options prescribed by your physician. Now, you aren’t all thumbs but you are thumb injury savvy!

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