Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Is my thumb broken if it is swelling and I can?t straighten it out?"
Do I need surgery? While I was doing some yard work, I sort of lost my balance and fell. I hit my thumb really hard on a big rock and now it is swollen and I can?t straighten it out. Is it broken?
Did you notice any break in the skin or drainage from your thumb from the rock? Is the swelling getting worse, staying the same or improving? Have you had any fevers or chills? Is your thumb very tender and unable to be bent? These are important questions to consider and the answers to these questions will help your primary care doctor decide upon the appropriate medical work up and treatment options available. He or she may ask for further lab tests, imaging studies or a referral to a specialist depending on what is found. In general, it is likely that you may have sprained or bruised your thumb but because there is the potential that you may have fractured the bone, it is important that you are evaluated by your primary care doctor who will best be able to decide upon the appropriate work up. It is difficult to evaluate and treat your thumb concerns over the internet but your medical professional should be able to evaluate this. You may require a splint to help keep your thumb aligned if there is a fracture.
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