Thumb Rehabilitation and Repair at City Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine
Unlocking Thumb Healing and Restoration
Understanding Broken Thumb Repair
Repairing a fractured thumb can follow either a non-surgical or surgical approach. The choice between these methods hinges on factors like the break’s location and the degree of bone displacement. The thumb consists of two bones: the distal phalanx and the proximal phalanx. The distal phalanx extends from the tip of the thumb to the knuckle, while the proximal phalanx spans from the knuckle to the thumb’s base. Common causes of a broken thumb encompass falls onto an outstretched hand and participation in sports activities that involve thumb muscle twisting or contraction.
Spotting Signs of a Broken Thumb
Indications of a potential thumb fracture encompass:
- Intense pain at the fracture site
- Swelling around the fracture site
- Severe tenderness at the fracture site
- Impaired or restricted thumb mobility
- Deformity or misshapen appearance of the thumb
- Numbness or cold sensation in the thumb
Individuals with calcium deficiency or underlying bone diseases face an elevated risk of thumb fractures.
Managing a Broken Thumb
A fractured thumb can be treated through nonsurgical or surgical approaches.
Non-Surgical Repair of a Broken Thumb
In some cases, a thumb fracture can be managed with a spica cast, immobilizing the wrist, palm, and thumb. A cast is suitable if the fractured bone fragments haven’t shifted significantly or can be manually realigned, or if the fracture occurs in the bone’s shaft (middle). Typically, the cast remains in place for 4 to 6 weeks, during which regular X-rays ensure the bone maintains proper alignment.
Surgical Repair of a Broken Thumb
When significant movement exists between the fractured bone fragments in the thumb, surgery may become necessary to realign and stabilize the fragments throughout the healing process. Surgical techniques involve the placement of hardware or devices, either internally or externally, to secure the fragmented bone pieces.
- Internal fixation employs wires, pins, plates, and screws to ensure proper bone alignment and fixation.
- External fixation uses a device affixed to the thumb’s exterior. Pins are attached to the fragments from outside the body, stabilized by the device. Following surgery, a cast or splint is typically worn for 2 to 6 weeks. Subsequently, physical therapy may be required to restore full thumb mobility.
In certain instances, even after surgery, the fractured thumb bones may not heal correctly or may become misaligned, leading to persistent pain and diminished strength and function. In such cases, a secondary operation may be recommended.
Experience Thumb Healing Excellence at City Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine
At City Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine, we specialize in rejuvenating and rehabilitating thumb injuries. Trust our proficient team to provide you with optimal care, ensuring the healing and recovery of your fractured thumb.