How long does it take a sprained thumb to heal?
A sprained thumb should heal anywhere between 3 and 6 weeks. This assumes that your thumb is just sprained, and no bones are broken or ligaments are completely torn. If you do have a torn ligament or broken bone, it will take much longer to heal assuming that appropriate care is given. If appropriate care is not given, it may never fully heal. We frequently see thumb sprains at Easy Orthopedics in Colorado.
How do you know if you sprained your thumb?
You will know if you sprained your thumb if it gets bent back and then hurts afterwards. A thumb sprain happens when the ligaments at the base of the thumb get stretched or partially torn. Most of the time your thumb will hurt after you sprain it if you move it all the way out and in, or put weight on it.
How do you know if you tore a ligament in your thumb?
It can be hard to differentiate between a torn ligament in your thumb and just a sprained thumb. Normally a torn ligament will hurt more than a sprain, but the level of pain depends on the injury and the person who sustained it. The best way to determine if you tore a ligament in your thumb is to see a hand surgeon, who can test the injured ligament to see if it has torn all of the way. They will usually also get x-rays to make sure that you didn’t break your thumb also. The most common torn ligament in the thumb is the ulnar collateral ligament at the base of the thumb.
Should you wrap a sprained thumb?
Wrapping a sprained thumb is a good idea because it will add stability to the thumb ligaments that you have sprained. By adding stability, it allows these ligaments to heal faster. Wrapping a sprained thumb will also help to keep the swelling down. If your thumb really hurts, it may not be a bad idea to wear a thumb spica splint, which will allow even more stability.
I hope we were able to answer some of your questions about how long it takes for a sprained thumb to heal. If you would like us to evaluate your sprained thumb and are in the Colorado area, contact us below to make an appointment.