Orthopedic Minute — Thumb Injuries


Time for another Orthopedic Minute presented by Washington University Physicians.

Hi, I'm Dr. Ryan Calfee with Washington University Orthopedics. When I see patients at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and the Orthopedic Center in Chesterfield, patients often complain of injuries to their thumbs. Most commonly, the thumb is sprained as it's pulled away from the hand such as when it's hit by catching a ball or when patients fall and try to catch themselves on outstretched hands.

This typically injures the ligaments supporting the inside of a thumb right here. In this case, we try to determine the severity of the injury by x-ray and physical examination by generally stressing the thumb to check to see if those ligaments are intact. We can then determine if bracing will allow healing or if surgery is necessary to repair the completely torn ligaments.

For more information, visit ortho.wustl.edu.

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