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Had hit on thumb. Swelling started and pain in forearm, elbow and shoulder. Have I pinch a nerve?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 1979
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At work today I slammed a heavy metal cooking utensil down onto my right thumb. Immediately it began to swell and is black and blue. After about two hours, my wrist, forearm, elbow and shoulder all are in pain as well. Because I can bend my thumb with only moderate pain, I assumed it was not broken. Could this pain in the other areas of my body be happening because my thumb is actually broken/fractured, or did I most likely just pinch a nerve?
Posted Sun, 12 Aug 2012 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. Chandra Shekhar Sharma 20 minutes later

Welcome to XXXXXXX

Your thumb became red and blue due to development of Hematoma.

Because you can bend your thumb with moderate pain only, chances of fracture are negligible. But you shouldn't try to bend it.

You can apply Thrombophob ointment over it thrice daily. You should take anti-inflammatory analgesic thrice daily with food for a couple of days. You should consult your doctor for prescription. If swelling doesn't subside within a few days, get X-ray done.

Rest, elevation, application of ice and crape bandage will help you to relieve your symptoms.

With good wishes,

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Had hit on thumb. Swelling started and pain in forearm, elbow and shoulder. Have I pinch a nerve? 4 minutes later
So I should not be worried that I now have pain in the wrist, elbow and shoulder? (these areas of my body were not hit during the accident, only the right thumb was directly injured.)
Answered by Dr. Chandra Shekhar Sharma 41 minutes later

Welcome again,

As your wrist, elbow and shoulder were not hit, chances of any damage to these parts are not present.

When there is injury to hand, we pull your arm back with jerk due to reflex. This sudden pulling and swelling in thumb can cause pain in whole of your arm.

Analgesic anti-inflammatory, which you will take for thumb, will also relieve pain from your arm & shoulder.

With good wishes,
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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