3. Dislocated Thumb Symptoms
4. Dislocated Thumb Treatment 5. Dislocated Thumb Recovery Time
6. Preventing a Dislocated Thumb
Could you imagine writing, typing, or playing your favorite sport without the use of your thumb? Even if a dislocated thumb is less common than some other finger injuries, the potential challenges and complications are worth taking seriously. Learn everything you need to know with this detailed guide on dislocated thumb injuries and discover what treatment options may be best for you.
A dislocated thumb is an injury in which the joints and bones of the thumb are over-extended beyond their limitations. Broken bones and joints are among the most serious and difficult-to-treat hand injuries.
This type of injury rarely occurs, as the distal phalanx and the proximal phalanx are thicker and thus more difficult to seriously hurt. Dislocated thumbs are classified into three types,depending on how serious they are and where the fracture occurred.
This kind of thumb injury rarely occurs, compared to an MCP joint injury. A dislocated thumb IP joint is caused by excessive pressure on the thumb, possibly caused by a fall. Surgical interventions are usually performed and bone chips are removed at the fractured joint.
The metacarpophalangeal (MCP) joint connects your palms to your fingers. Dislocated thumb MCP joint injuries occur when excessive strain is placed on the metacarpophalangeal joint. Although more common than thumb IP joint injuries, this injury requires focused treatment to restore the joint’s stability.
The carpometacarpal (CMC) joint is located near the wrist, acting as a bridge to the palm. A dislocated CMC joint injury results from overextension in this area, as pressure is applied to the carpometacarpal joint. Swelling and pain may be present, and some severecases need surgery.
Typically, a thumb fracture is caused by direct trauma due to a fall or athletic activity. Many basketball players suffer a dislocated thumb knuckle after being hit by the ball at the distal phalanx (tip of the thumb). This injury makes it difficult to retain full mobility of the thumb.
In some cases, rheumatoid arthritis can increase the likelihood of experiencing a dislocated thumb because of over-secretion of synovial fluid. Luckily, arthritis gloves are available to ease pain and keep hands moving.
What are the signs of a dislocated thumb and how can you determine the best type of treatment? Listed below are the several dislocated thumb symptoms to look out for:
It is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible, especially if bones are out of place. General practitioners may require a dislocated thumb X-ray to assess the severity of your injury. Knowing what a dislocated thumb looks like means accurate treatment and medication.
Blood tests may be required if there is a possible infection connected to the dislocated joint. Your doctor may take dislocated thumb pictures for further reference and documentation.
The road to faster recovery starts with understanding how to properly take care of a dislocated thumb injury at home. Dislocated thumb recovery takes time and effort. If you are wondering how to fix dislocated thumb injury quick and easily, here are some treatment methods that you may want to consider.
Try a dislocated thumb splint for simple support that can be taken on and off as needed. (See Product on Amazon)
A high quality thumb splint provides stable support for the thumb, joints, and ligaments. The adjustable compression can promote healing and improve blood circulation, which can help you move your unaffected fingers freely. Look for removable aluminum splints, which offer efficient support and control during physical activities.
The best wrist braces offer support, stability, and comfort to heal your aching bones. (See Product on Amazon)
Just like a thumb splint, wrist braces also offer optimum support for injured joints on the wrist. They reduce pain and discomfort caused by the injury, while providing maximum comfort and flexibility. Look for a wrist brace that is lightweight for better mobility while doing your daily routine.
In addition to thumb splints and wrist braces, ice therapy may also help in treating dislocated thumb injuries. Cold therapy is the basic treatment you can do at home. Simply apply a cold compress using an ice pack on the injured area. Do this for three days, every one to two hours interval with duration of ten to twenty minutes, or until the swelling lessens.
X-ray results may give doctors a hint on how to put a dislocated thumb back in place, and in some cases, surgery may be needed to treat a dislocated thumb. This may vary depending on the level of damage.
Internal fixation and external fixation are the best surgical options for this injury. Internal fixation uses wires, pins, plates, and screws for treatment and healing. External fixation uses pins that hold the bones in their original position. The recovery process after a dislocated thumb surgery might require a long wait.
How long does a dislocated thumb take to heal? The answer depends on the damage sustained to the joints and ligaments. Some dislocated thumb injuries take one to two weeks of healing time, while others take six weeks for a full recovery.
While waiting for a full recovery, know the do’s and don'ts to speed up the healing process.
Surgery takes much longer to heal than nonoperative treatment and may require prescribed medications. A full recovery may take three months or more, depending on how severe the dislocated thumb injury is.
While recovering, take advantage of of the best overbed tables to keep all your necessities in arm’s reach.
While hand injuries can’t always be avoided, knowing what to do for a dislocated thumb can make the recovery process much smoother. Remember, patience is key--and if the right treatments are employed, healthy hands will be right around the corner.
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