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Doctor insights on: What's The Difference Between A Broken Or Sprain Thumb

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What's the difference between a sprain thumb and a broken thumb?

What's the difference between a sprain thumb and a broken thumb?

Alot: A sprained thumb is a soft tissue injury of the ligaments about one or more of the joints of the thumb
a broken thumb is a fracture of one or more of the three bones of the thumb
unless a ligament is completely torn usually sprains do not require and surgery
depending on the fracture configuration and location a fracture may require surgery. ...Read more

Dr. Peter Ihle
1,161 Doctors shared insights

Sprains And Strains (Definition)

-R used interchangeably. They refer 2 injuries 2 mucles & ligaments. 3 degrees: 1=tweaked or hurts but no harm no foul, 2=damage 2 the structure with some bleeding & prolonged pain, but with ice, time, rest, & activity modification they heal over a few weeks, 3=a complete disruption such as an ACL tear. If this happens in a muscle body, there's no repair available, painful, ...Read more


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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

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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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What is the difference in SYMPTOMS of a grade 1 and grade 2 rcl sprain of the thumb?

What is the difference in SYMPTOMS of a grade 1 and grade 2 rcl sprain of the thumb?

Microtear v. partial: A Grade 1 is the most minor type of ligament sprain, and usually implies microtears. A Grade 2 means a partial tear and is a more significant injury. The final type is a Grade 3 which means a full-thickness tear. Symptoms and signs tend to be higher (more pain, dysfunction, swelling) with Grade 2 over Grade 1. ...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 long does a sprain thumb take to heal?

How long does a sprain thumb take to heal?

Depends...: This depends on the severity of your injury. Minor sprains should resolve in a few weeks and more severe sprains can take a few months. Immobilization and anti-inflammatories will help encourage healing. ...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 do I know whether I sprained my thumb or broke my thumb?

XRAY: Sprain is a tear in the ligament and has 3 grades. Broken bone as the name implies affects the bone. See you doctor and get an xray. ...Read more

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How do I know whether my thumb is broken sprained or dislocated?

How do I know whether my thumb is broken sprained or dislocated?

Xray: It sometimes can be hard to say on your own. If it was a fairly mild injury and you get better in 2-3 days, it was probably just a sprain. But if you had a substantial injury or it does not start feeling better soon, I would sure be seen to get an xray. The thumb is very important for function, so you don't want to neglect it if you do have a fracture. Thank you for the question. ...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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Sprained my thumb 7 weeks ago how can I tell if it is unstable? (Rcl)

Sprained my thumb 7 weeks ago how can I tell if it is unstable? (Rcl)

Stress X-ray: An test called a stress X-ray is usually performed to determine this. Basically a stress is applied across the joint in question, and if the joint opens up it implies disruption if the joint and probable instability. ...Read more

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What should I do if I think I have jammed/sprained my thumb? It happened at the pool

What should I do if I think I have jammed/sprained my thumb? It happened at the pool

Immobilize: Rest ice nsaids give it a few days the come out of it and start moving it. If it is not getting better or if there is a deformity see your doc. ...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 rcl sprain in the thumb? It's been 7 weeks since I fell and haven't been to the dr yet.

What are the symptoms of a grade 2 rcl sprain in the thumb? It's been 7 weeks since I fell and haven't been to the dr yet.

Moderate sprain.: A grade 1 RCL sprain is mild & not associated with loss of the thumb MCP joint stability. A grade 2 sprain usually involves a lot of pain & swelling. There could be bruising around the thumb & possible laxity of the joint. A grade 3 sprain can be very painful, & there is complete disruption of the joint, leading to joint instability. See a doctor for proper Dx & Rx of your thumb sprain. ...Read more

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What are symptoms of a grade 2 rcl sprain in the thumb? It's been over a month since I fell on it and it still hurts to use.

What are symptoms of a grade 2 rcl sprain in the thumb? It's been over a month since I fell on it and it still hurts to use.

Symptoms at site..: The symptoms at usually at the site of injury, with pain to touch and any deviation of the thumb that pulls on the ligament on the affected side. Ligaments take longer to heal than bone, so usually the area is sore for a few months. The thumb should be protected during the healing phase with a special brace. See an Ortho doc. ...Read more

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I fell full weight on my left extended thumb, on april 27. I was told it was just sprained. Could I still have pain to this day from a sprain?

No: No good image. If thumb is painful @ the 2nd joint from the end a common injury is an avulsion of the ulnar collateral ligament which often is a surgical injury. Get in 2 c a hand surgeon. 2 late 4 primary repair & can b reconstructed. ...Read more

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I sprained my thumb and the swelling won't go down, the thumb is taped. How long to heal?

I sprained my thumb and the swelling won't go down, the thumb is taped. How long to heal?

You need to: Have a complete tear if the ulnar or radial collateral ligaments ruled out by a hand surgeon. These injuries can at time need surgery. A fracture should be ruled out too. Even without these it may take 2-3 months minimally for pain to subside. Splinting is a first line rx the thumb has a lot of daily stress at the mp joint and it is easy to re -aggravate even a mild injury. ...Read more

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I think I sprained my thumb 7 weeks ago. Its still very painful. Should it be treated or do I just keep resting it.

Depends: If you've had your thumb x-rayed and the x-rays are neg. For a fracture and there are no instabilities of any of the thumb joints....Then I would begin to increase your activities using your thumb more and more...
A soft tissue injury to the small joints of the thumb (sprain) can take 3-6 mons. To be totally pain free....
If there is no improvement within a few weeks....See a hand surgeon. ...Read more

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I sprained my thumb backwards yesterday it hurts when pressed and certain movements?

I sprained my thumb backwards yesterday it hurts when pressed and certain movements?

Don'tNeglectTheThumb: If you bent it far enough you could have ripped a ligament at the base of the thumb. It could be minor or worse, depends on how lax or loose that joint is. Try and compare it to the other side if you can. If you can't, get it examined. If you need to wait to get it seen, try and tape the base of the thumb to give it some support :wrap it with a big"U"of tape with the curve of the "U" in the crease ...Read more

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I recently sprained my wrist and now my thumb has gone numb. What should I do?

I recently sprained my wrist and now my thumb has gone numb. What should I do?

Watch it: Many times numbness can be a manifestation of pain. If you just recently sprained your wrist you can wait a few weeks to see if the numbness subsides. If not then you should seek further treatment. ...Read more

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If you sprain a double jointed thumb will it still be double jointed after the sprain?

If you sprain a double jointed thumb will it still be double jointed after the sprain?

Yes: "double-jointed" refers to an underlying laxity or looseness of your joints. An injury to a double-jointed thumb may cause some initial stiffness, but the underlying cause of the laxity is not changed. ...Read more

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I don't know if my thumb is sprained or broken?

X Ray: It is fair to say that if you thumb is dislocated or broken, you would have little or no movement in your thumb and significant swelling and pain. However the only way to confirm is by visiting your doctor to obtain a referral for X Rays ...Read more

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How can I tell if my thumb is broken or sprained?

See Hand surgeon: See a hand surgeon and get an x-ray. Fractures or ligament injuries can be identified and treated appropriately. ...Read more

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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

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