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Sprained Thumb & Rugby

 

 

Sprained Thumb Injury Introduction

 

A Sprained Thumb is a common cause of swelling on the thumb which is accompanied by thumb pain. The Ulnar Collateral Ligament which is located at the base of thumb is often injuries, Rugby players can suffer from this condition as they land from tackles and extend their hand out.


Sprained Thumb Signs & Symptoms

• Pain when the thumb is bent backwards.
• Pain in the web of the thumb when it is moved.
• Swelling over the joint at the bottom of the thumb over the Ulnar Collateral Ligament.
• May develop bruising after 48 hours.
• Laxity and instability in the Meta-Carpo-Phalangeal or MCP joint which is the joint between the metacarpal and thumb bone
• If there is a lot of laxity and instability in the joint a total rupture may be suspected in which case the injury requires surgery.
• The player may find it hard to pinch or grip small objects.

Sprained Thumb Treatment

Immediate treatment:


Rest: Most athletes are able to return to sport within 4 to 6 weeks depending on severity of injury - sometimes sooner.

Ice: Reusable ice packs will reduce swelling and pain.

Medication: Non Steroidal Anti Inflammatory Drugs (NSAID) such as ibuprofen tablets and gel will help to reduce inflammation and pain.

Thumb Brace: This will prevent excessive moment and allow for healing.

If you have a partial tear of Ulnar Collateral Ligament, your doctor will probably immobilize your thumb joint with a splint or other bandage until it heals. You will have to wear the splint for about three weeks, then start taking it off to do flexion and extension exercises with your thumb. Put the splint back on for protection when playing rugby. Keep doing this for another two to three weeks until the swelling and tenderness are gone. You may also put ice on your thumb twice a day for two to three days after the injury.

If the Ulnar Collateral Ligament is completely torn, you may need surgery. Fragments of bone that sometimes get pulled away when your ligament tears may be removed or put back in their correct positions. After surgery, you’ll probably need to wear a short-arm cast or a splint to protect your thumb ligament for six to eight weeks while it heals.

Ultrasound scan also be used along with massage and mobilization can aid ligament repair and help restore function. The use of hand therapy balls and a therapeutic putt will help to strengthen Thumb ligaments and improve dexterity. Grip and thumb strengthening devices can also be useful to restore normal hand and thumb strength.

 

What you can do

• Consult a expert
• Use anti-inflammatory gel and tablets for pain relief
• Use of a reusable ice pack to reduce swelling and pain
• Use a removable thumb support for protection
• Use therapeutic putty and hand therapy balls to improve dexterity and strength.

 

 

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