When the connective tissues of the thumb are damaged, the result is a sprain. Typically, it is the ulnar collateral ligament that is injured. Damage to the thumb can be a serious injury because the functionality of the hand is heavily dependent on its use. When the thumb is sprained, essential activities such as pinching or grasping we usually take for granted cannot be performed. Recognizing sprained thumb symptoms can help you identify an injury so you can promptly seek treatment. At Arora Hand Surgery, we diagnose and repair injuries to the thumbs, hands and other areas.
Causes of a Sprained Thumb
Your thumbs are made up of two bones called phalanges and two joints. The joints are visible when you bend your thumbs. Connective tissues, including ligaments, help keep the bones stable and prevent friction between them. The ulnar collateral ligament, the main ligament in your thumb, connects your thumb’s base to the lower bone. When the ligament is stretched too far or is torn, the result is a sprain. Most often, this occurs when the thumb is bent backward. That said, sprains can occur gradually when the thumb is repeatedly strained over time.
Sprained Thumb Symptoms
The sprained thumb symptoms you may experience depend on the severity of your sprain. You may not always have symptoms right away. As with most injuries, the most common symptom is pain. You may find the pain is more severe during certain activities. You may experience bruising or swelling. Also, the base of your thumb may be tender.
When the sprain is severe, your thumb will immediately swell and bruise. Your ability to grasp with your thumb and index finger will be impaired. If you find that your thumb is unstable or lax, it is possible you have fully ruptured the ligament. A ruptured ligament will require surgery.
If you are experiencing any of the sprained thumb symptoms listed above, we urge you to seek medical attention. Should diagnosis and treatment be needed, the experts at Arora Hand Surgery, specializing in exceptional treatment and restoration of damage to the hands, fingers, and thumbs, can help. Contact us today to schedule a consultation at our office in Macomb Township, Warren, Howell, or West Bloomfield.