Sprained Thumb

Handling the Injury of Sprained Thumb

We all know how much important and useful our thumb is for carrying day to day activities of life. But what if all of a sudden an injury happens to it? Your routine life comes to a standstill and complete breakdown! You have to rely on others help for carrying even the daily, basic routine activities of life. This is something that no one likes. So why not get some useful information about the injury of sprained thumb and how to handle it. You never know when a mishap can occur!

What is sprained thumb?

Sprained ThumbIt is a kind of injury caused to the main ligament of the thumb. As per the dictionary meaning, ligament is a tough band of tissues that connects bones across joints. The main ligament of the thumb is also known as ulnar collateral ligament. If the main ligament of the thumb is torn completely, the patient’s future pincher grasp gets affected a lot. Sometimes avulsion fracture can also happen due to the sudden, forcible tearing off the bone that holds the ligament intact. It usually occurs after a fall and takes several weeks for healing. But a lot depends on the extent of the injury and the damaged caused.

The most common reason

One of the most obvious reasons is fall on the ground. When a person finds himself trapped in a situation of fall then it is very natural for him to stretch his arms so that he can minimize the impact of the fall and the probable damages from it. The position in which your hands are at the time of meeting the ground during the fall decides a lot whether your hands will get major injury or not. The most common reason is the fall during skiing accidents. This is the reason why people also call sprained thumb as ‘skiers thumb’.


Some common symptoms of it are prolonged weakness of the injured person’s grasp and pinch. Apart from this bruises, pain and instability of the thumb are other symptoms. But it is not necessary that the person experiences the pain immediately after the fall. In some cases the pain persists till several weeks, becomes chronic and the person may feel weakness and instability in the thumb whenever he utilizes it for pinching purposes.

Treatment of sprained thumb

First of all assure yourself that it is just a sprain and the bones and the ulnar collateral ligaments are not broken. If you feel there is any chance of ligaments and the bones to be broken then immediately consult an orthopedic doctor. You can also check it by moving your thumbs around. If you don’t get cackling sounds with the movements then there is very little probability of the bones to be broken.  If it is just a problem of soreness and some minor pains then you can use ice on it for the first 24 hours. After that you can give a heat treatment to thumbs. Then you can make the sprained thumb lay on a splint. Finally flex the thumb gently and exercise once the soreness starts reducing.

In case of major injury you should immediately take a visit to your doctor.