ZocdocAnswersWill a partially torn UCL of thumb heal?

Question

Will a partially torn UCL of thumb heal?

I have a partially torn UCL of the thumb. It has been over 6 weeks since injury and have been in a splint but the thumb still has numbness and tingling sensation, is this normal? Will it go away? Thank you.

Answer

It sounds like the injury responsible for your ligament tear may also have caused some nerve damage. In many cases damage to nerves is not permanent, as some types of nerve injury can be repaired. However, damaged nerves typically regenerate very, very slowly which is why you are still experiencing some deficits in sensation well after the initial injury. However, it is important for your treating orthopedic physician to know about these symptoms, because the management of injuries in the hand can often depend upon the degree of functional deficit. Even if your orthopedist would not recommend surgery for your injury, he or she may well want to make changes in recommendations based upon possible nerve damage. Some types of occupational therapy may also be helpful, when it safe to remove the splint, to ensure that you are still able to use the hand and thumb despite any changes in your sensation or strength. Overall the best thing to do is discuss your symptoms and prognosis with your orthopedist at your next appointment. Although it is impossible to predict outcomes with 100% certainty, in the context of your overall injury and progress so far, your physician should be able to give you an idea of what to expect in future. And, depending upon the results of your exam, he or she may want to also have you evaluated by a neurologist. Again, please discuss with your doctor.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.