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Doctor insights on: Sharp Pain In Wrist And Thumb

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What could cause sharp wrist pain radiating from the thumb?

What could cause sharp wrist pain radiating from the thumb?

Arthritis/tendonitis: The most common place for arthritis of the hand is at the base of the thumb. This can cause pain in the fleshy part of thumb, known as the thenar emminance. Tendonitis is also common aroun the thumb and wrist. See a board certified orthopaedic hand surgeon for evaluation and treatment. ...Read more

Dr. Jeffrey Wint
396 Doctors shared insights

Wrist Pain (Definition)

Pain coming from the wrist. In general, the wrist is described as including the radial-carpal joint, the radial-ulnar joint, the joints between the eight carpal bones, and the joints between the carpal bones and the five metacarpal bones. Wrist pain can be caused from traumatic, degenerative, vascular, and inflammatory causes ...Read more


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Sharp pain on left thumb & wrist & spread to forearm which makes it feel very heavy and numb occur most night. Is it carpal tunnel or nerve compression?

Sharp pain on left thumb & wrist & spread to forearm which makes it feel very heavy and numb occur most night. Is it carpal tunnel or nerve compression?

Could be CTS: It sounds like it could be carpal tunnel syndrome (cts)which is a type of nerve compression, but this will often affect other fingers rather than just the thumb. Is it on the lateral or outside of the thumb? It could be a tenosynovitis as well. If you look up a test called a finklestein test, you can check yourself and see if its that. If you have neck pain, it could also be a radiculitis. ...Read more

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Sharp pain in wrist, travels up my hand into first 2 knuckles. Last night hand swelled up, slight burning sensasion when swelled. Any idea?

Sharp pain in wrist, travels up my hand into first 2 knuckles. Last night hand swelled up, slight burning sensasion when swelled. Any idea?

Repetitive wrist motion: Can cause this, similar to carpal tunnel syndrome. Often if you're typing a lot, doing hours of computer work, or playing piano or an instrument for hours, you can tighten these areas in the midback, and shoulders where the the arm is receiving innervation from the cervical/thoracic nerve roots. That can cause your wrists to swell, if the nerve is inflamed, necessitating splints. See a doctor (DO). ...Read more

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My left wrist pain doesn't go away after a month. Don't remb any trauma to it. Only hurts (sharp pain)when I bend my hand backwards/supp weight wif palm?

My left wrist pain doesn't go away after a month. Don't remb any trauma to it. Only hurts (sharp pain)when I bend my hand backwards/supp weight wif palm?

Wrist sprain: Sounds as though you likely have a wrist sprain. Although fractures initially, if minor trauma, may look benign in nature and the swelling and bruising may develop over the following hours. Something to keep an eye on and if worsens quickly, see your local doctor. ...Read more

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Pain starts in bottom of thumb and moves around and down the wrist. Can't bend my wrist. Pain is coming and going and sharp What do I do to stop it?

Pain starts in bottom of thumb and moves around and down the wrist. Can't bend my wrist. Pain is coming and going and sharp What do I do to stop it?

Could be: A problem with navicular bone. Get to an orthopedic surgeon for exam and possible imaging studies. Try a thumb immobilizer in the meantime. ...Read more

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I have a sharp pain behind my palm, running from the thumb to the wrist. It started suddenly. What is it and what should I do.

I have a sharp pain behind my palm, running from the thumb to the wrist. It started suddenly. What is it and what should I do.

Tricky: There are several possibilities, I cannot say in your particular case, but generally, the location and movement of a pain gives clues as to what is going on and in this case the wrist area (CARPAL TUNNEL) is a common cause of this. Wrist braces, modification of activity, all the mouse and computer rest stuff, and finally surgery are often recommended. ...Read more

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What is wrong with my wrist? I have been having trouble with my wrist for about 2 years. There is a sharp pain shooting from the middle of my wrist to my index finger and mainly my thumb.

First: First off, I want to tell you that I cannot diagnose your wrist problem. Your symptoms might be consistent with carpal tunnel syndrome. Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when the median nerve gets compressed at the wrist. Symptoms can include pain, numbness, or tingling in the palm, wrist, thumb, or fingers. The thumb can become weak. Possible causes can include making repetitive wrist movements (like typing for a living), obesity, pregnancy, diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis. Please talk to your doctor about an evaluation by a hand surgeon. ...Read more

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Very sharp pain top of hand (metacarpal area closer to wrist between thumb and pointer) -drop things. No known injury-visible symptoms. Comes and gos?

Very sharp pain top of hand (metacarpal area closer to wrist between thumb and pointer) -drop things. No known injury-visible symptoms. Comes and gos?

De Quervain's: De Quervains tenosynovitis can present similarly with no known trauma. Suggest splint, Anti inflammatories for 2-4 weeks.
If ISQ then referral to orthopedic is recommended ...Read more

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Pain on top of left hand. Also in thumb area and wrist. Sharp pain with swelling and heat. What does this mean?

Pain on top of left hand. Also in thumb area and wrist. Sharp pain with swelling and heat. What does this mean?

Hand pain: That depends on some thingg. Was there an injury involved? Was there an overuse injury - meaning a repetative action that may have caused a sprain? This could also be an inflammation or tendonitis depending on the location. More information is needed to make a diagnosis.
If this continues or worsens you may want to see your primary care physician.
Rest and Ice it to see if improves ...Read more

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I have sharp pain from my thumb knuckle to my wrist. Took a fall months ago, was told I was fine. Should I still be having pain? Just before thanksgiving I slipped on the ice and went down several stairs, trying to catch myself with my one free hand. Thou

I have sharp pain from my thumb knuckle to my wrist. Took a fall months ago, was told I was fine. Should I still be having pain? Just before thanksgiving I slipped on the ice and went down several stairs, trying to catch myself with my one free hand. Thou

There: There are a number of injuries that can occur in this area. The other respondents have listed some of them. Going through the anatomy from the wrist to the thumb:

tendinitis can occur betweent the wrist extensors and thumb extensors at the "intersection". It can also occur along the thumb tendons in the first dorsal compartment--called dequervain's tenosynovitis.

A fracture can occur along a small part of the radius, called the styloid. When it is not out of place, it can be easily missed. These small fractures are often overlooked or discounted, but can be associated with a much more serious injury involving a tear in the scapholunate interosseous ligament. This ligament is part of the cornerstone of the wrist. When it tears, the whole wrist can collapse in a condition known as scapholunate advanced collapse (slac).

Just past the radial styloid is the scaphoid. This is a difficult bone to assess and it's even harder to heal. Often, the first x-rays will not show a fracture. After a couple of weeks, a faint line may appear, but not always. If not immobilized promptly, they have a tendency to not heal (non-union). This process can also destroy the wrist in what is called scaphoid non-union advanced collapse (snac).

As you move toward the base of the palm, there is a joint called the basilar joint, trapeziometacarpal joint, or carpometacarpal joint (all the same thing). There is a stout ligament, called the beak (or volar oblique) ligament, that can be torn. In a young person, this should be reconstructed. Again, disruption in this area can lead to arthritis. This joint frequently causes arthritis symptoms in the hand.

Beyond that is the thumb metacarpophalangeal joint. There are several stout ligaments that can be injured here. The ulnar collateral ligament is most common--located on the side toward the index finger. When acutely injured, it is known as "skier's thumb." chronic injuries become known as "gamekeeper's thumb." depending on the severity, these may or may not require surgery, but do better with immobilization. The radial collateral ligament can be injured in a similar way. It is on the side opposite the index finger. Also, the volar plate can be torn on the palm side of the joint and allow the thumb to bend backwards.

Also at the metacarpophalageal joint, you can have a sesamoid fracture--fracture of a small bone that "anchors" the ligaments and tendons in the area. You can also develop a trigger thumb (catching of the tendon) or a flexor tendon sheath ganglion--a cyst that forms from leakage of fluid from around the tendon. On rare occasion, these can occur after a trauma.

Further toward the thumb tip, you can have a mallet thumb (unable to extend the tip because of a tendon rupture) or a flexor tendon rupture (unable to bend). Ligaments in this area may be injured as well. There are also a series of bands, called pulleys, that hold the flexor tendon in place. A rupture of one of the pulleys can be painful and cause the tendon to deviate from its normal position.

The conditions above assume "normal" x-rays or small fractures that can be missed. Other fractures can occur as well.

The bottom line is that there are a lot of things that can happen to a thumb that do not necessarily show up on x-ray. Evaluation by a hand surgeon can help you locate the injured structure (s) and determine a treatment strategy. ...Read more

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I play clarinet and piano and suffer from hand and wrist issues. Playing for even 15 minutes causes pain in wrist (and thumb for clarinet) thoughts?

Tendinitis: With your history, age and location of pain (wrist and thumb) the most likely diagnosis is tendinitis (specifically deQuervain's tendinitis).This is the most common tendinitis of the hand and involves the thumb extensor tendon. A physical exam by an ORS would confirm. Ibuprofen, bracing, ice massage and rest usually help. A well- placed injection can be helpful. Best of Luck! ...Read more

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I have wrist pain that is mainly in my thumb and the middle of my wrist, and it's aggravated when I move my wrist and use my thumb (comes and goes)?

Dequervains: Is a common type of acute wrist pain that affects the motionof the thumb. Ice, antiinflammatory medication and a soft wrist and thumb splint often can help. If symptom, s persist get evaluated ...Read more

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I've wrist pain & in thumb, can't pick things up & drop things. I fell 3.5 weeks ago on that side & had pain at time, it wouldn't be from that would it?

I've wrist pain & in thumb, can't pick things up & drop things. I fell 3.5 weeks ago on that side & had pain at time, it wouldn't be from that would it?

Trauma that lead to: Pain. Must be considered. Thumb ligament injury at the MCP joint, wrist fracture, in the radius or scaphoid are possible, as are other bone or ligament injury. Tendon pain giving pain with thumb extension near the wrist can be a sign of contusion or tendonitis. An evaluation that includes xrays is typically a good step to take for the symptoms and history described here ...Read more

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What causes thumb joint and wrist pain?

What causes thumb joint and wrist pain?

Can be: Numbness and tingling is commonly nerve related, and the ulnar nerve supplies sensation to the small and part of the ring fingers. It can be injured at the elbow, in the forearm, or within the palm. Pain at the elbow / forearm / wrist after a fall can be due to ligamentous or bony injury. Early evaluation which should include xrays in important, preferably by an orthopaedic or hand specialist. ...Read more

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Having wrist pain (under the thumb), especially when moving the thumb or writing. But can't stop writing as am a student

Having wrist pain (under the thumb), especially when moving the thumb or writing. But can't stop writing as am a student

Repetitive stress: If someone performs the same activity for too long, a repetitive stress injury (rsi) may occur. This happens to intense writers and keyboard operators.
Best treatment for rsi is to stop doing the repetitive action, then restart at a more gentle level. It's also helpful to change or improve the posture/position for the activity. Nsaids (ibuprofen, naproxen, aspirin) can help. ...Read more

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Wrist pain Left only, on thumb side of wrist and down a little toward thumb. Can't lift/lean on it ~5 days. Appt next week. What to do til appt?

Wrist splint and ice: You can always go into an urgent care to get X-rays immediately. To wait until your appointment, you could buy a wrist splint that also immobilizes your thumb to help relieve pain. Icing the painful area for 10-15 minutes a few times a day can also help. If not allergic, you can take Ibuprofen 600mg every 8 hours and also Tylenol (acetaminophen) 500mg every 6 hours as well to help reduce pain. ...Read more

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I have wrist pain that seems like skiers thumb, for 2 weeks, should I see a doctor?

I have wrist pain that seems like skiers thumb, for 2 weeks, should I see a doctor?

Gamekeepers thumb: There are a number of names given to this injury which is most commonly an injury to ulnar collateral ligament of the thumb MCP joint. It can also some times affect radial collateral ligament. Degree of ligament tear determines the treatment. Partial tears usually respond to 4-6 weeks of continuous splinting. Complete tears with avulsion fracture, Stenner lesion or instability may require surgery. ...Read more

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Sprained wrist 7mo ago. Still having pain in wrist and now pain in the base of my thumb nightly. What should I do? Surgeon said it just hasn't! t heal

Physical therapy: Non healed sprain can cause persistent pain and loss of function. Simple exercises like a stress ball or even use a hand grip device (sold at most sports stores). If do something that aggravates it, put an ice pack immediately x 20 mins or wear a brace. Also take an OTC anti-inflammatory med like ibuprofen or naproxen. If not better physical therapy or an steroid injection may help ...Read more

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I have what I believe to be an infected thumb. Had it over a week, pain staying constant but now wrist pain and increased pressure in the arm. Ideas?

I have what I believe to be an infected thumb. Had it over a week, pain staying constant but now wrist pain and increased pressure in the arm. Ideas?

See a doctor: If you have an infected thumb and the pain has spread form the wrist and there is pressure in you arm, it could be very serious. See your doctor immediately. ...Read more

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Thumb and wrist pain in left hand when wrist is bent forward (hand towards me). Pain located on the thumb side of the wrist only. What could this be?

Thumb and wrist pain in left hand when wrist is bent forward (hand towards me). Pain located on the thumb side of the wrist only. What could this be?

DeQuervain's: This is tenosynovitis of the first dorsal compartment of the wrist. You have basically performed a finkelstein test. Go see your orthopaedic surgeon for evaluation and treatment. ...Read more

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Wrist pain for over a week after accidentally hitting someone in a sport, hurts moving thumb in certain directions. Is it a sprain or something else?

Wrist pain for over a week after accidentally hitting someone in a sport, hurts moving thumb in certain directions. Is it a sprain or something else?

Maybe: Injury, and still hurt in 7-10 days? There is some damage related to the injury. Now you need someone who can touch, feel, and tell you where the damage is, perhaps order an x-ray to see that bones are ok, and then prescribe some treatment to help your body heal from the injury. I suggest you resist NSAIDs-- they stop your body from healing to its potential. Www. Blatmanhealthandwellness. Com ...Read more

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Sir, My left hand thumb and index finger are itching and I get a sharp pain suddenly when touched. Pls guide?

Get an evaluation it: Might be a nerve injury or pinching. An EMG might be of value in helping diagnose and treat this annoying problem ...Read more

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Swollen spot on top of wrist. More swollen in am. Pain in wrist and back of hand by thumb. On and off for 2 mnths getting worse. No ins. Manual labor?

Swollen spot on top of wrist. More swollen in am. Pain in wrist and back of hand by thumb. On and off for 2 mnths getting worse. No ins. Manual labor?

Tendonitis: Sounds like you could have dequervain's tenosynovitis, tendonitis of extensor tendons in 1st extensor compartment. If circular in nature could be a ganglion a type of synovial cyst. You need an assessment. Manual labor will probably increase your symptoms. ...Read more

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Fell this morning while running. Mild pain in wrist/thumb area. Can move fingers and wrist freely. Little swelling. Do I need an x-ray?

Fell this morning while running. Mild pain in wrist/thumb area. Can move fingers and wrist freely. Little swelling. Do I need an x-ray?

A good idea: Many minor wrist sprains can lead 2 a fracture of the navicular. Many times it will b more evident on an orthopedic exam, then x-rays may or not b done. True early images of occult navicular fractures r not positive, but if an orthopedic surgeon feels strongly about the findings a cast 4 +/- 2 wks. And then new images with the cast off will show the fx. Due 2 bone absorption in the perifracture erea. ...Read more

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Sharp pain in Palm of hand by thumb when I touch it. I have carpal tunnel could the pain be caused be carpal tunnel?

Sharp pain in Palm of hand by thumb when I touch it. I have carpal tunnel could the pain be caused be carpal tunnel?

Palm of hand pain: Could be from carpal tunnel or could have a small ganglion cyst in palm (may feel small bump or would see on ultrasound). if it is on the thenar eminence (thumb side prominence-as you mention) could be dequervains which is another tendonits but the one that goes to the thumb-treated by splinting motrin products and at times injection to tendon sheath follow up with doc/urgent care ...Read more

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Tingling in left thumb, pointed and middle finger and shooting pain in wrist? Could this be heart related or more likely a nerve?

Tingling in left thumb, pointed and middle finger and shooting pain in wrist? Could this be heart related or more likely a nerve?

Wrist pain: Neural complaints are classical of carpal tunnel syndrome and he should have an EMG done for this. CTS initially is treated with wrist splint at night and NSAIDs 3 times a day for 2 months. If symptoms persist then further interventions may be required. Cardiac disease would primarily involve chest pain with radiation to the arm and is not classical in this manner. ...Read more

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Left hand thumb joint hurts for few months. Lately, the joint on index hurts. Shooting pain in wrist. Cannot open bottles, doorknobs etc without pain.

Left hand thumb joint hurts for few months. Lately, the joint on index hurts. Shooting pain in wrist. Cannot open bottles, doorknobs etc without pain.

Dominant hand?: You may want to see an osteopathic physician, who can examine you by doing an osteopathic examination of your neck, spine, upper extremities: arm, elbow, wrist, thumbs. Sometimes, there is a relationship between dysfunction of your wrist, from findings in the neck area that may be in spasm. This is difficult to do without a musculoskeletal examination. Once identified, it is easy to treat. Be seen soon, and get relief. ...Read more

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2 previous wrist surgeries for carpel tunnel/thumb fusion. Chronic pain+lump inside wrist. Now pulling tree roots & wrist popped with immed wrist pain?

2 previous wrist surgeries for carpel tunnel/thumb fusion. Chronic pain+lump inside wrist. Now pulling tree roots & wrist popped with immed wrist pain?

You would think an-: -adult who had all these procedures you might think twice about pulling tree roots. Get back to your hand surgeon and confess, & see what you did. ...Read more

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Radial artery occlusion. What would cause sharp pain in wrist, elbow and shoulder.

Radial artery occlusion. What would cause sharp pain in wrist, elbow and shoulder.

Immediately: Ischemia of some of the tissue including he local nerves.
There are good collaterals in the arm and forearm.
Concern is embolism with branch occlusions.
Surgically we take the whole radial, artery out and people do fine if we have tested-allen's test/ and doppler study in advance.
Chronically one may have inadequate collateral. Why did it happen. ...Read more

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I have wrist pain and it feels like its in my tendons. It sends a sharp pain every time I move it forward and backward or when I use my fingers.?

I have wrist pain and it feels like its in my tendons. It sends a sharp pain every time I move it forward and backward or when I use my fingers.?

Orthopedist: The signs you are describing could be carpal tunnel syndrome or repetitive task injury. A consult with an orthopedist or orthopedic surgeon is warranted ...Read more

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Left wrist pain for a few months. No injury or numbness/tingling. Full range of motion, but sharp pain wen lifting and hurts randomly.?

Left wrist pain for a few months. No injury or numbness/tingling. Full range of motion, but sharp pain wen lifting and hurts randomly.?

Hand exam, x rays: The wrist has many bones and ligaments and can be injured acutely or by wear and tear or have tumors. A hand surgeon will take a detailed history, do a careful physical exam, and order plain x rays. Additional x rays often used are MRI for soft tissue evaluation and CT scan for bones. Hand therapy may be needed and splints, meds, injections, and then arthroscopic or open surgery to gain power grip ...Read more

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What could be causing me to have periods of sharp pain in my lower right arm just below my elbow the radiates almost to my wrist. Pain last only secs?

Tendinitis: Hard to say w/o examination but it sounds like you might have tendinitis.An examination could quickly differentiate between tendinitis and a peripheral nerve 'pinching' @your elbow or other problems. See an orthopedic surgeon if your pain continues or increases in severity. Good luck! ...Read more