A broken bone in the hand requires prompt medical treatment and realignment of the bone. Your thumb consists of two bones: the distal and proximal phalange. Without immediate treatment for your broken thumb, swelling can occur within the tissues of the bones. As a result, it becomes more difficult to realign your thumb. A splint needs to be applied by an orthopaedic surgeon to help your thumb heal.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Thumb spica splint
- Compression bandage
Get an X-ray of your hand to determine the extent of your injury. If your injury is severe, surgery may be necessary to correct the damage.
Get fitted with a splint, such as a thumb spica splint. Your thumb needs to be immobilised, which keeps your range of motion limited in order to promote healing.
Wear the splint on your thumb as recommended by your physician. According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, a thumb splint can be worn for up to six weeks.
Wrap your thumb and wrist in a compression bandage to help provide additional support for your thumb when wearing a splint. Beginning at the top of your thumb, wrap your thumb in a counterclockwise motion with the bandage.
Begin to wrap the bandage around your wrist and up your forearm once you get to the base (bottom) of your thumb. You can then wear your splint over the bandage.
Tips and warnings
- Wear your splint for as long as necessary to ensure that any broken bones heal.
- Get routine X-rays of your thumb to make sure that any broken bones have not slipped out of place.
- Undergo physiotherapy after the splint is removed to regain mobility of your thumb.
- Don't try to align a broken bone yourself, as you can cause further damage.
- Don't engage in sports until your injury completely heals.
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