If you have never heard of the existence of a thumb sprain, you are not alone. They occur more frequently than you might imagine, but nonetheless they are not as widely known. A thumb sprain is extremely painful and it also leads to a virtually immediate swelling. The bruising is generally negligible, but it takes a week or longer – if properly treated – for the tenderness to go away. Should you find yourself in a position where you suffer a thumb sprain it helps to know exactly what to do – and do it quickly!
The best first step of aid for a thumb sprain is to apply ice to the affected digit. If at all possible, an ice pack or a cold pack should be placed against the thumb for the duration of half an hour or longer. This needs to be done three to five times per day. Using a towel around the ice pack of thumb prevents any skin injury that would occur from applying the ice pack directly to the skin of digit affected by the thumb sprain. The next step is of course the immobilization of the affected thumb. This might sound like it is difficult to do, but it really does not have to be.
A thumb sprain that remains immobilized has a good chance of healing quickly. Failure to keep the digit still may lead to making the actual thumb sprain worse, causing the healing time to be significantly extended. Moreover, with the help of a bandage that keeps the thumb immobile, the potential for pain is greatly cut down. To overcome inflammation, simple anti-inflammatory medications may be administered. In some cases they can be creams that are topically applied and then covered up the bandage that serves to keep the thumb sprain immobile.
There is a chance that a thumb sprain that fails to heal may actually require the attention of an orthopedic surgeon. This professional may be able to evaluate a slow healing thumb ligament injury and see if there is a need for a surgical repair. Although it is not usually considered a vital necessity – unless the thumb sprain is severe – there is a chance that undergoing the surgery can greatly shorten the recovery period associated with this kind of injury. Of course, all this might not even be necessary if the initial steps of putting ice on the injury and keeping the thumb sprain stationary are properly followed.