Q. Following a fall, my thumb got swollen. How to cure it?

Answered by
Dr. Amit Arora
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Jun 23, 2016 and last reviewed on: May 12, 2020

Hi doctor,

Last week, I fell and jammed my thumb into the floor. It instantly hurt and I knew I had sprained or jammed something. The next day, my palm and the thumb muscle were swollen with a painful lump. I could not grab or hold anything, but I can move it around. So, I know it did not break. It has almost been a week and is still very sore. There is no pain in the knuckle and I still cannot hold heavy things and grab things. On bending it is very painful. I wanted to give it some time before seeing a doctor if it is just a mild sprain. Typing and working is very difficult, so I was wondering if seeing a doctor would help or if it is just going to take time?

Dr. Amit Arora



Welcome to icliniq.com.

  • As you described that you can move it around, but is not bending properly that is there reduce range of movement at interphalangeal joint.
  • Hopefully,  there is no major fracture. But, there could be some soft tissue injury or ligament injury or may be some small hairline fracture, a remote possibility.
  • There are also chances of slight dislocation of interphalangeal joint.
  • Ideally, after injury an x-ray was supposed to be done and it should be immobilized during initial stage of injury.
  • Now, after a week, if you are still not able to hold things properly and it is still painful,  then I must advise you to get an x-ray done.
  • If there is no joint dislocation, then with the help of physiotherapy, mild painkiller and topical application of pain killer gel will be helpful.
  • The thumb is an important part of the hand and in most of the activities on hand it plays an important role .So, you must pay attention towards this injury.
  • Please try to attain full range of movements. Ignorance and delay may sometime lead to chronic problem.

For further doubts consult an internal medicine physician online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/internal-medicine-physician

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