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whats the difference between a broken or sprain thumb

A 48-year-old member asked:
Dr. Gary Pess
Dr. Gary Pess answered
39 years experience in Hand Surgery
Fracture: It may be impossible to differentiate without an xray. Both can be swollen, painful and difficult to bend. Only an xray will see the fracture.

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A 48-year-old member asked:
Dr. Allen Fein
Specializes in Family Medicine
Hard vs Soft Tissue!: A fracture involves hard tissue - i.e. Bones. A strain, or sprain involves soft tissues - muscles, ligaments, tendons, or cartilages. A fracture is ... Read More
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A 50-year-old member asked:
Dr. Kirt Kimball
46 years experience in Orthopedic Surgery
Significant: A broken thumb implies fractured bone. A dislocated thumb implies on of the joints in the thumb has dislocated (no longer in correct position). To d ... Read More
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A 31-year-old female asked:
Dr. Laurence Badgley
52 years experience in General Practice
Same condition: A sprain is an injury to a ligament that holds bones together at a joint. This is likely what you have. Warm soaks and rest can help to heal. Someti ... Read More
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A 53-year-old member asked:
Dr. Mark Galland
31 years experience in Orthopedic Surgery
Thumb: A sprain effects the ligaments around the thumb joint while a fracture involves the bones of the thumb.
A 24-year-old female asked:
Dr. Darrell Latva
41 years experience in Podiatry
ANATOMY: Bone and ligament are two totally different things anatomically. Ligaments are soft tissue structures holding any two bones in place, like a piece of ... Read More
A 56-year-old member asked:
Dr. Ronald Krinick
41 years experience in Orthopedic Surgery
Structure involved: Fractrues are bone injury sprains are ligaments.
A 37-year-old member asked:
Dr. Robert Coats II
22 years experience in Orthopedic Surgery
Bone vs joint: A hand sprain involves stretching/tearing of the tissues which stabilize the small joints of the hand and fingers. A hand fracture is a break in one o ... Read More
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A 39-year-old member asked:
Dr. Mark Diamond
45 years experience in Pediatrics
They are...: A fracture is a broken bone.A sprain is soft tissue damage, such as ligaments, muscle or tendons.
A 38-year-old member asked:
Dr. Rhett Griggs
18 years experience in Hand Surgery
Sprained vs fx.: Sprain is soft tissue...Ligaments stretched. Fracture is bone...Broken bone.
A 43-year-old member asked:
Dr. Angelo Mitsos
39 years experience in Podiatry
Both Can Hurt: Both can create an equal amount of pain so x-rays are important to determine the extent and location of a fracture or break in the bone. Also an x-ra ... Read More
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A 45-year-old member asked:
Dr. Glenn Aufseeser
8 years experience in Podiatry
Bone vs soft tissue: A fracture is a break in a bone. A sprain, like an ankle sprain, is damage to the ligaments of a joint.
A 26-year-old member asked:
Dr. Kitturah Schomberg-Klaiss
27 years experience in Family Medicine
Same thing: "fractured" is just the medical term for broken.
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A 53-year-old member asked:
Dr. Danielle Jones
7 years experience in Obstetrics and Gynecology
Injury Type: A contusion is essentially an area of injured tissue with ruptured capillaries - what is commonly referred to as a "bruise." a compound fracture is al ... Read More
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A 36-year-old member asked:
Dr. Mary Ann Block
31 years experience in General Practice
Nothing: Broken and fractured mean the same thing.
A 48-year-old member asked:
Dr. Samuel Miles
46 years experience in Psychiatry
None: No difference.
A 43-year-old member asked:
Dr. Jason Boyer
17 years experience in Orthopedic Surgery
Partial vs full tear: A sprain is a partial tear of a ligament, sometimes only microscopically. A tearusually refers to a complete disruption of the fibers that make up th ... Read More
A 71-year-old female asked:
Dr. Peter Karsant
38 years experience in Dentistry
Damage: A sprain is soft tissue damage and will heal on its own. A broken finger is hard tissue damage(the bone) is fractured/broken, tissue may appear bruise ... Read More
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A 51-year-old member asked:
Dr. Joel McClurg
Specializes in Orthopedic Surgery
Big difference: Sprains are stretching or tearing of tissues holding bones together, while fractures or breaks are actually failures of the bone itself. Sometime you ... Read More
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A 48-year-old member asked:
Dr. Naresh Rao
23 years experience in Sports Medicine
Same: Spraining and jamming a finger are generally considered to be the same condition. However, a sprain implies a ligament injury, but a jammed finger ca ... Read More
A 53-year-old member asked:
Dr. Eric Bluman
22 years experience in Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Surgery
Ligament vs. tendon: Sprains are injuries to ligaments (tissues holding bones to other bones). These are injuries of the joint capsule. Tendonitis is a disorder of tendon ... Read More
A 53-year-old member asked:
Dr. Douglas Mund
45 years experience in Rheumatology
Huge: A fracture means a bone is broken. A sprain does not involve the bone but the soft tissues around the bones that support them - muscles tendons ligame ... Read More

90,000 U.S. doctors in 147 specialties are here to answer your questions or offer you advice, prescriptions, and more. Get help now:

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