Q:

Do you need X-rays to diagnose a broken thumb?

A:

Quick Answer

If a physician suspects a thumb fracture, he typically examines the injury and then orders X-rays to confirm the diagnosis, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Based on the diagnosis, the physician could recommend either surgical or non-surgical treatment.

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Full Answer

Symptoms of a thumb fracture include severe pain, swelling, deformity and limited-to-no mobility, notes AAOS. The injured person should immediately consult a doctor, because any delay can make treatment more difficult. A specially designed cast may be used if the bone fragments have not moved a lot or if the fracture is in the middle of the bone. If this treatment is not possible, surgery may be necessary.

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