A to Z: Dislocation, Thumb

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A to Z: Dislocation, Thumb

A dislocation is when the bones in a joint slip out of their normal position. A dislocated thumb may happen from a fall, blow, or sports injury, especially if the thumb is bent back or jammed.

More to Know

An X-ray is usually used to diagnose a dislocated thumb. The bones may move back into place on their own or a doctor may gently put the joint back with a quick maneuver called a reduction. In some cases, surgery is needed to repair the joint.

To keep the joint from dislocating again, a splint is put on the thumb (the splint might later be changed to a cast). The splint or cast is worn for a few weeks while the thumb heals. Also, a sling (sleeve to hold the arm up) may be fitted to help with swelling.

Keep in Mind

With proper treatment, most people who dislocate a thumb can gradually return to their normal activities. The thumb may feel sore or stiff for a while.

All A to Z dictionary entries are regularly reviewed by KidsHealth medical experts.



Related Resources

OrganizationAmerican Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) The AAOS provides information for the public on sports safety, and bone, joint, muscle, ligament and tendon injuries or conditions.
OrganizationAmerican Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) The AAP is committed to the health and well-being of infants, adolescents, and young adults. The website offers news articles and tips on health for families.
OrganizationAmerican College of Sports Medicine This site has tips on staying safe while playing sports and exercising.
OrganizationNational Athletic Trainers' Association This site contains information on certified athletic trainers and tips on preventing and healing sports injuries.
OrganizationAmerican Academy of Family Physicians This site, operated by the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), provides information on family physicians and health care, a directory of family physicians, and resources on health conditions.
OrganizationAmerican Sports Medicine Institute The mission of ASMI is to improve the understanding, prevention and treatment of sports-related injuries through research and education.


Related Articles

First Aid: Dislocations A dislocation happens when two connected bones are separated. These injuries require emergency medical care to avoid further damage.
First Aid: Falls Although most result in mild bumps and bruises, some falls can cause serious injuries that need medical attention.
A to Z: Dislocation, Shoulder A shoulder dislocation causes the top of the upper arm bone (humerus) to slip out of its normal position in the shoulder socket.
A to Z: Dislocation, Finger A dislocation is when the bones in a joint slip out of their normal position. A finger dislocation may happen from a fall, blow, or sports injury, especially if the finger is bent back or jammed.
Preventing Children's Sports Injuries Participation in sports can teach kids sportsmanship and discipline. But sports also carry the potential for injury. Here's how to protect your kids.
Bones, Muscles, and Joints Without bones, muscles, and joints, we couldn't stand, walk, run, or even sit. The musculoskeletal system supports our bodies, protects our organs from injury, and enables movement.
Household Safety: Preventing Injuries From Falling, Climbing, and Grabbing The potential for a dangerous fall or a tumble into a sharp edge can happen in nearly every area of your home. Read about how to help protect kids from getting hurt.
Frequently Asked Questions About Casts Getting a cast often comes with plenty of questions. Read on for answers to some frequent inquiries many parents - and kids - may have about casts.
X-Ray Exam: Finger Doctors may order a finger X-ray to find the cause of symptoms such as pain, tenderness, or swelling, or to detect broken bones or dislocated joints.
X-Ray Exam: Hand A hand X-ray can help find the cause of pain, tenderness, swelling, and deformity. It also can detect broken bones or dislocated joints.




Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.

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