Thumb Injury Experts -- Advice Please?

About a month ago I crushed my thumb in a hinged metal bar that I closed by accident by leaning my full weight on it. :frowning: It hurt like he!! and I ran cold water over it, then iced it when I got home.
It was swollen slightly and red, and the next day it turned green and yellow, and then it turned black and blue at the joint and just below.
Within a few days it seemed ok. But then it started tingling occasionally so I figured a damaged nerve.
A few days later that stopped and I thought it was all better.
A few days after that I accidently bumped it against my plastic laundry basket and it hurt so badly I felt nauseated. Just as painful as the day I injured it.
It still hurts that badly whenever I bump it, so most of thé time I wear a brace on it.
Do any of you have any experience with this sort of injury and continuing pain? I don’t think I broke it because I’ve been able to move it. I just wish it would stop hurting so badly because I can’t keep wearing the brace 24/7.

I’ve dinged my thumb pretty good many times, but it sounds like you need an X-ray to make sure nothing broke.

You probably bruised the bone big time and add some injured nerves, if you didn’t break it.

I was in a thumb brace for 10 weeks when I fractured mine.


go to an orthopedic or urgent care and get an xray


I broke my fibula in half. My friend who was with me (an ex-RN) asked if I could wiggle my toes. I could, so she suspected I just had a nasty sprain, although I almost passed out twice. After 5 days of ibuprofen and wrapping it as tight as I could, I went to my Dr. She was shaking her head as she showed me the Xray and asked why I waited so long. “So I could keep riding”, was my answer.

Go get an Xray, OP!


Occupation Therapist here.

You can absolutely break a hand bone and still move the joint. You can also do a lot of ligament / tendon damage.

If you really don’t want to go see a hand surgeon for an x-ray, then find a certified hand therapist to consult. They will likely send you for an x-ray.

If the x-ray doesn’t show a break, next step is usually an ultrasound of the tendons / ligaments. Then an MRI.

You will save time skipping the ER and going straight to the hand people.


Thanks, everyone. OK, X-ray it is, then. I doubt there is a hand specialist within an hour’s drive of here, but I will start with my primary care doctor.


Yes, go to a doctor: orthopedist or hand surgeon.

I have a standard for orthopedic specialists: when you say “horse” in any context, like “when can i start riding my horse again??” there should be an explosive response. For example: “Horse, you have a horse? What is it with you horse people?”

It does work. I was in an ER on Cape Cod with an odd fracture on my right wrist after tripping on ice. Since I was leaving for home in Maine (“when? when you guys are finished.”) they decided to bring in a specialist. He had a great response, very dramatic, then told a funny horse joke. He got back to work and put a cast on it. There was no pain. I could have had any drug, so i asked for Aleve. Since I left 2 hours later than I had planned there was no traffic in Boston. It was an easy drive.

If the doctor doesn’t say much about the horse they are too young and lack adequate experience treating horse people. One day my regular orthopedic surgeon lamented he should have introduced me to his prior patient. He showed me her x-ray. Her collarbone was in several pieces.


Crush injuries can do all sorts of gross things to our soft squishy bodies. Hie thee forth to a medical professional and report back!

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Aye aye!