Thumb fracture

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A thumb fracture is a common injury that occurs once the thumb bones are damaged. It is important to note that the thumb is comprised of 2 bones that are linked to the hand bone.

A fracture occurs if either 2 bones breaks. Generally, most fractures are brought about by a direct fall or enduring a strike on the thumb.

What are the usual causes?

  • Participating in high-impact contact sports such as basketball or football.
  • Falls from a great height
  • Direct trauma to the thumb usually in vehicular accidents
    Thumb fracture
    Application of an ice pack on the affected thumb to lessen the pain and swelling.

What are the signs?

The indications of a thumb fracture typically include the following:

  • Thumb pain and swelling
  • Tenderness of the thumb if touched along with numbness
  • Evident deformity of the thumb
  • Reduced range of motion of the thumb

Management of a thumb fracture

If an individual is suspected with a thumb fracture, most require surgical intervention. Nevertheless, the injury can also be managed without surgery.

The conservative measures for a thumb fracture include:

  • Activities that worsen the condition of the thumb must be avoided. The doctor will instruct the individual to refrain from any physical activity until the pain or discomfort subsides.
  • Full immobilization of the thumb under a cast might be needed to limit movement.
  • Application of an ice pack on the affected thumb to lessen the pain and swelling.
  • Antibiotics are started to manage or prevent bacterial infections.
  • Medications such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) might be given as treatment for a thumb fracture which work by reducing the swelling and pain.

In case surgery is necessary, the doctor might suggest open reduction and internal fixation (ORIF).

Disclaimer / More Information

The information posted on this page on a thumb fracture is for learning and educational purposes only. To learn how the injury is properly managed, register for first aid training at one of our training centers located throughout Canada. The training centers are in Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver, Kelowna, Saskatoon, Victoria, Surrey, Mississauga, Winnipeg, Red Deer, Toronto, Ottawa and Halifax.

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