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Doctor insights on: What Is The Difference Between A Broken And Sprained Thumb

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What is the main difference between a sprained thumb and a broken thumb?

What is the main difference between a sprained thumb and a broken thumb?

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 often treated by immobilzation in a splint or a cast. Soft tissue injuries usually respond to cold compresses initially, and then changing to warm compresses and movement therapies. Xrays and bone scans for bones. Mris for bones and soft tissues. ...Read more

Dr. Payam Rafat
1,209 Doctors shared insights

Sprain (Definition)

A sprain is a medical term that describes an injury to soft tissue structures in the area. Common examples are a lumbar sprain, in which you might injure muscles in your back; or an ankle sprain in which you could injure ligaments about the ankle. Sprains can be from mild to severe, and so ...Read more


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How do I tell the difference between a hyperextended thumb and a sprained thumb I hurt it playing vball & now hurts when pressure is being applied

How do I tell the difference between a hyperextended thumb and a sprained thumb I hurt it playing vball & now hurts when pressure is being applied

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. Sometimes it an take several months for all the pain to resolve. Avoid repetitious injury by wearing a protective splint while playing. ...Read more

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What s the difference between a thumb sprain or fracture?

What s the difference between a thumb sprain or fracture?

Thumb: A sprain effects the ligaments around the thumb joint while a fracture involves the bones of the thumb. ...Read more

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How do you treat a sprained thumb?

How do you treat a sprained thumb?

Depends: Probably needs to be checked due to unusual fractures at the base of the thumb that may need surgery or ligament injuries that can become chronic. If the thumb is stable then using a thumb spica splint is usually adequate. ...Read more

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How can I stop pain from a sprained thumb?

How can I stop pain from a sprained thumb?

Ice it: Immobilize it with a splint. If pain persists make sure you see an orthopedist. ...Read more

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How long will a sprained thumb take to heal?

If routine, <6 wks: Most thumb sprains are from falling on an outstretched hand such as skiing or snow boarding. Most routine sprains are mild and respond to hand based splinting within 4-6 weeks. More severe sprains after 4 weeks tend to show no improvement. All of these injuries need an early x-ray to rule out a fracture. More severe sprains often need surgical attention as symptoms persist despite bracing. ...Read more

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What excersises can I do for a sprained thumb?

Let it heal: 'Sprained thumbs' generally need a period of rest and immobilization (thumb 'spica' splint) for a couple of weeks for healing of the 'stretched' ligaments before you exersise. See your primary care physician. Good Luck! ...Read more

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What are the typical symptoms of a sprained thumb?

What are the typical symptoms of a sprained thumb?

Pain and swelling: Sprains of joints such as the thumb cause pain with motion as the injured structures around the joint are stretched or compressed. Generalized swelling of the joint involved is also a very common complaint. The swelling is bothersome but can be somewhat protective early on in that the swelling functionally limits motion and acts as an internal "brace". Bruising about the thumb is also common. ...Read more

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Broken, jammed or sprained thumb, how can I tell?

Broken, jammed or sprained thumb, how can I tell?

See Hand surgeon: To have the correct diagnosis and treatment, go see a hand surgeon. You wil also need to get your thumb x-rayed to help diagnose the more subtle injuries. ...Read more

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How long can it take to fully recover from a badly sprained thumb?

How long can it take to fully recover from a badly sprained thumb?

Depends: Classic ligaments sprains are graded mild, moderate and severe suggesting healing in 2-4 wks, 4-6 wks, and 2-3 months. Nonetheless there might be a fracture or ligament instability that might not heal. It should be checked. ...Read more

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How long will it take for my sprained thumb to heal and what can I do to make it heal faster or feel better?

How long will it take for my sprained thumb to heal and what can I do to make it heal faster or feel better?

It depends: Where does your thumb hurt? How did you injure it? There are many factors that go into how long it will take for your thumb to feel better. Without specifically knowing your diagnosis, it is hard to say how long it will take to heal, or even if it will heal. I would suggest that you see a hand surgeon to have your thumb examined. ...Read more

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What are the symptoms of a grade 2 thumb sprain?

What are the symptoms of a grade 2 thumb sprain?

Pain and swelling: Miranda,

A grade two thumb sprain means that the ligament is stretched but not completely torn. As the body tries to heal, it will be inflamed. You will experience pain, swelling, and tenderness. In general, RICE is the way to go: Rest, Ice, Compress (with an ace wrap, but not too tight), and elevate. Sprains generally take 10-21 days to heal. Hope this helps! ...Read more

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How do I know if I have sprained my thumb? If I have a sprained thumb do I need to get it looked at by a doctor?

How do I know if I have sprained my thumb? If I have a sprained thumb do I need to get it looked at by a doctor?

Thumb injury fate: I don't think anyone can tell by the fact that you have less or more pain. A bad sprain can hurt as much as a fracture. A bruised or "jammed" joint can hurt a lot if there is a lot of swelling. An x-ray will help as will am exam. A jam can end up fractured and some ligament injury can need surgery while many fractures do not. Exam and x-ray that's the way to tell. ...Read more

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Could a grade 1 thumb sprain last for 7 weeks, or is this more serious?

Could a grade 1 thumb sprain last for 7 weeks, or is this more serious?

See your PCP: For evaluation, imaging and referral. 7 weeks is too long. If this ligament injury is not diagnosed and treated properly, it may lead to chronic instability, weakness, and ultimately arthritis and more unnecessary aggravations. ...Read more

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What is the symptoms of a grade 2 thumb sprain? And how long does it last? (Rcl injury)

What is the symptoms of a grade 2 thumb sprain? And how long does it last? (Rcl injury)

6-8 wks: Radial Collateral Ligament injuries to the MCP joint usually heal in 6-8 weeks. Be careful not to re-injury thumb. Good Occupational Therapy program can help to maintain strength and mobility while joint heals. Hope this helps. Best of luck. Dr R ...Read more

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What would the best treatment be for a suspected sprained thumb?

What would the best treatment be for a suspected sprained thumb?

Be seen: If you had sufficient mechanism of injury and pain and swelling in the thumb, you may want to be seen just to make sure you have not broken anything. That being said, rest, ice, compression and elevation (rice) is the standard recommendation for acute soft tissue injuries. ...Read more

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What do they do at the hospital for a sprained thumb?

What do they do at the hospital for a sprained thumb?

Splint it: Usually splint it. Are you sure you just sprained it? If there is a spot that hurts a lot more when you press on it, It would probably be worth going to your doc or an urgent care clinic for films. ...Read more

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Do you think I should go to the doctor for my sprained thumb?

Do you think I should go to the doctor for my sprained thumb?

Yes especially: For a common injury to the mcp joint an ulnar or radial collateral ligament. While splinting may be used for some of these others with a complete rupture can need surgery and often do better if that surgery is offered earlier. ...Read more

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How long does a sprained thumb last? Grade 1? Grade 2? Grade 3? Any ideas?

How long does a sprained thumb last? Grade 1? Grade 2? Grade 3? Any ideas?

Weeks to months: The more severe the injury, the longer the recovery. Grade 3 may require surgery. Immobilzation is often helpful for several weeks. The exact. Grade is necessary to determine the best treatment. ...Read more

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Is 7 weeks too long for a grade 1 thumb sprain even if I didn't ice it at first?

Is 7 weeks too long for a grade 1 thumb sprain even if I didn't ice it at first?

See your PCP: For evaluation, imaging and referral. 7 weeks is too long. If this ligament injury is not diagnosed and treated properly, it may lead to chronic instability, weakness, and ultimately arthritis and more unnecessary aggravations. ...Read more

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What are the signs and symtoms to a sprained thumb. I hurt my thumb last night & it's swollen & red. Is it sprained and it's sore too?

Yes: To some degree surely a sprain. A vague term. If the pain and limitation of motion persist or deformity occurs, see Orthopedic Surgeon. Should consider X-ray and may need MRI if sever. ...Read more

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Symptoms of a rcl grade 3 thumb sprain? 12 weeks after falling, it's still bothering me.

Symptoms of a rcl grade 3 thumb sprain? 12 weeks after falling, it's still bothering me.

Grade 3 means total-: -tear and immobilized by casting. Some aggressive hand surgeons do primary repairs. Also it depends on if it's Ur dominant hand, & what U do. A baseball pitcher may B treated more aggressively. After 13 weeks only reconstruction can help. ...Read more

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Symptoms of a grade two rcl thumb sprain, it's been 7 weeks since I fell on it and it's still painful. Not continuous though. Only certain movements?

Symptoms of a grade two rcl thumb sprain, it's been 7 weeks since I fell on it and it's still painful. Not continuous though. Only certain movements?

Bad Thumb Driver: If you've seen a doctor (hopefully a hand specialist), what did he do?? If not, it's should be immobilized for a while. Tendons and ligaments take a long time to heal, especially if you use them a lot. Try this: get some one-inch surgical tape at Rite Aid and drape it over the joint, tape ends pointing down, like a shawl. Put on a few layers. There! Snug! Feel better? If not, get back to that doctor!! ...Read more

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Symptoms of a grade two thumb sprain? How does a doctor diagnose it?

Symptoms of a grade two thumb sprain? How does a doctor diagnose it?

Exam: It is primarily a clinical diagnosis, that is to say it is based primarily upon an examination. X-rays are often obtained to rule out a bone injury. An X-ray taken with a stress view can be used in some cases to rule out a grade III injury. ...Read more

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Sprained thumb, better to try and see Pcp, urgent care, or ER?

Sprained thumb, better to try and see Pcp, urgent care, or ER?

Pcp: Make arrangements with your primary care doctorthat seems like a reasonable first step they can help decide whether or not you need a xray evaluation ...Read more

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If still having pinch weakness in my sprained thumb 1 week after injuring, does it indicate my ligament is ruptured, or is this normal for a sprain?

If still having pinch weakness in my sprained thumb 1 week after injuring, does it indicate my ligament is ruptured, or is this normal for a sprain?

It depends: It all depends on the severity of the injury and physical examination to suspect a rupture. Acute and subacute pain (caused by a sprain or strain) can inhibit the muscle action and cause weakness. Visit your doctor for an evaluation and advance imaging if needed. Hope this helps, www. Otwithmd. Com. ...Read more

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What are exercises for healing a sprained thumb? I had an ex ray, no fractures. I've been in a splint for 3 weeks, and have more stiffness than pain.

What are exercises for healing a sprained thumb? I had an ex ray, no fractures. I've been in a splint for 3 weeks, and have more stiffness than pain.

Range of motion: Exercises will relieve the stiffness of your thumb. It is best to warm your muscles up prior to doing exercises, this can be done by running warm water over your thumb. Then gently move your thumb in all directions, being careful not to cause pain. Do this 3-5 x/day as tolerated. Protect your thumb by wearing the splint while not performing exercises, until the stiffness is improved/resolved. ...Read more