How Can I Tell If My Thumb Is Broken?

According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, symptoms of a broken thumb include intense pain, swelling, thumb deformity, tenderness and limited to no mobility of the thumb. It is important for individuals who suspect they have a broken thumb to seek immediate medical assistance to ensure proper realignment of the bones.

The Illinois Bone and Joint Institute explains that treatment of a broken thumb depends on the severity of the injury. If the break is severe, surgery is often required in order to properly align the bones with screws or wires. Following surgery, broken thumbs are typically treated with a cast or splint that must be worn for up to six weeks. Nonsurgical treatment consists of resetting the bone and immobilizing the thumb with a cast or splint.

According to, aftercare methods following treatment for a broken thumb include ice packs, elevation and physical therapy. Ice helps to minimize pain and swelling as well as promoting healthy tissue regeneration. Elevating the thumb by propping the hand on pillows also helps to minimize pain and swelling. Physical therapy is often required once the cast or splint is removed. Physical therapy exercises help to strengthen the thumb and restore mobility.