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Is a Sprained Thumb a Medical Emergency in Maumee?

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Is a Sprained Thumb a Medical Emergency in Maumee?

You don't realize how vital your thumb is until you injure it. A simple thumb sprain can make doing the simplest task challenging and have you ready to recover from your injury. But what will that recovery look like? That depends on how severe your sprained thumb is and your treatment path.

At-home recovery is sometimes possible, but more moderate to severe injuries may require treatment from a health care professional. Find out how serious your thumb sprain is and learn how to get treatment.

Symptoms of a Sprained Thumb

Sprains are diagnosed as mild, moderate or severe, and the symptoms get more significant with each category. You might have some or all of the following symptoms, depending on the severity of the injury:

  • A lump that's located on the inside of the thumb.
  • Bruising, pain, tenderness and swelling.
  • Difficulty grasping or holding items.
  • Looseness and instability at the joint.

Mild sprains aren't always painful. When they are, they feel more like discomfort than actual pain. The pain increases for moderate sprains and is quite intense with severe sprains.

sprained thumb

Non-surgical Sprained Thumb Treatment

Mild to moderate sprains typically heal with non-surgical treatments. You can follow the PRICE protocol at home if you have a mild sprain, meaning you didn't tear the ligament. However, you should visit an urgent care facility or your primary care provider if your symptoms persist beyond 48 hours.

This sprained thumb home remedy is similar to the RICE method, which refers to rest, ice, compression and elevation. PRICE includes protection, making it ideal for recovering from sprains while preventing re-injury.

To follow the PRICE protocol, you'll need to do the following:

  • Protect the thumb by wearing a splint for at least 72 hours.
  • Rest your hand by avoiding use for 48 hours.
  • Ice the thumb hourly for the first day and four times the second day.
  • Compress the injured ligament with an elastic compression bandage.
  • Elevate the hand above your heart as often as possible.

The PRICE method reduces pain by lowering inflammation and swelling. If you're still experiencing discomfort, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can help. Don't take NSAIDs for more than 10 days for pain unless you get approval from your medical provider.

You can also use the PRICE protocol and take NSAIDs to treat a moderate sprain, but you'll want to include stretches and other exercises to promote healing and improve mobility. Your doctor will provide exercises and stretches for you to do when you visit urgent care. You can also get a splint or cast for your sprain at urgent care, making it easier to protect the joint and ligament.

Surgical Treatment for Thumb Sprains

If the ligament ruptures, you have a severe sprain and likely need surgery. This is usually done as an outpatient procedure, so you can go home after spending some time in the recovery room. During the procedure, the surgeon will make an incision to reach the damaged ligament and reattach it to the bone. After securing the ligament with stitches and small anchors, the surgeon will repair damaged tissue located around the ligament.

The surgeon will close the incision and place a splint or short arm cast on your hand to mobilize your thumb. Since you'll wear the splint or cast for six to 12 weeks, you'll need physical therapy to restore function and mobility once it's removed.

Patients who undergo this procedure typically have excellent clinical outcomes, including restored stability and strength. On the other hand, people who avoid surgical repair often report chronic pain and instability in the injured thumb.

ProMedica Toledo Hospital Emergency and Urgent Care

Immediate Sprained Thumb Treatment in Maumee, OH

ProMedica Toledo Hospital Emergency and Urgent Care provides patients with quality care and services. Staff are ER-trained to determine patient conditions, and patients only pay for the level of service they receive - either ER or urgent care. The emergency department is open 24/7 and the urgent care clinic is open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. You don't need an appointment. All walk-ins are welcome.

ProMedica Toledo Hospital Emergency and Urgent Care is located at 1075 Medical Center Parkway, Maumee, OH 43537.