How do I treat a dislocated thumb?

A splint is often the ideal way to immobilize the dislocated thumb.

The dorsal collateral ulnar collateral ligaments are the two main ligaments that hold a person’s thumb in place. When one of these ligaments is torn or damaged, usually after some type of trauma, it is known as a dislocated thumb or sometimes a pinched thumb. This is often extremely painful and can result in abnormal thumb alignment if not treated properly. Resting and icing the dislocated thumb until you can receive proper medical care is considered very important. Afterwards, your doctor will decide which type of treatment you need, depending on the severity of the injury.

The doctor will usually take an x-ray to determine the best treatment for a dislocated thumb.

If you suspect you may be suffering from a dislocated thumb, experts agree that the first thing you should do is rest the area and stop using it. While it may seem like the right thing to do, you should never try to fix or realign a dislocated thumb yourself. This can cause permanent tissue damage in the area.

Many doctors also recommend applying ice to the dislocated thumb. To do this, apply an ice pack to your palm just below your thumb. If no ice packs are available, anything cold or frozen will do, such as a bag of frozen vegetables. This will lessen the pain and also the swelling in the affected area.

An ice pack, which can help with swelling caused by a dislocated thumb.

Immobilizing the dislocated thumb is one of the best ways to immobilize it. Your hand can swell substantially with this condition, so it’s important to remove all jewelry from your hands. This can interrupt circulation and cause some serious problems. Rings that are not easily removed may need to be cut with a ring cutter

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When immobilizing your thumb, try to keep it in the same position you were in, if possible. If you don’t have a real thumb or finger splint available, a straight, flat, hard stick, like a popsicle stick, will suffice. Start by placing the toothpick gently in the palm of your hand, following your thumb. You can then attach the splint to your thumb by attaching the tip of your thumb to the splint first. You can then secure the bottom of the splint as close to the thumb joint as possible and finish by wrapping the thumb, splint, and hand with an elastic bandage or gauze roll.

Someone with a dislocated thumb should avoid typing as much as possible.

Even if you think the dislocation is not serious and will heal on its own, it is highly recommended that you get immediate medical attention to prevent further and more permanent damage. The first thing a doctor will probably do when you seek treatment for a dislocated thumb is to take an x-ray. This will allow him to see the extent of the damage, including if you have any broken bones. The dislocation can be simple or complex.

A doctor can determine if a thumb is dislocated, sprained, or broken.

In the case of a simple thumb dislocation, the ligaments are usually stretched or torn only slightly. This type of dislocated thumb is considered the easiest to treat and usually only requires the doctor to maneuver the thumb back into the joint. Often, the thumb will need to be immobilized, usually with a cast, for approximately three weeks. After that, the ability to move the digit slowly comes back.

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A complex dislocation of the thumb is usually a little more serious because at least one of the ligaments is completely torn. Most of the time, surgery is needed to repair the damage. After surgery, the thumb will usually need to be immobilized for up to six weeks. Some patients may also require physical therapy to regain full range of motion.

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