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Suggest treatment for swelling on thumb after an injury?

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Answered by

Orthopaedic Surgeon
Practicing since : 1994
Answered : 10463 Questions
I shut my thumb in a car door yesterday to the point where I had to unlock the door to get it out. There was a depression running along my thumb
immediately after until it started to swell. I did get x rays and was told there was a non displaced fracture of the distal phalanx. It is swollen and tight to touch. My question is there is a spot between my nail and joint that is pretty numb. Will this go away as the swelling goes down or should I be concerned?
Posted Sat, 16 Aug 2014 in Back Pain
Answered by Dr. Praveen Tayal 30 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Nothing worrisome.

Detailed Answer:
Thanks for posting your query.
The swelling is due to the bleeding at the site of fracture. The numbness at the nail bed is also due to the injury. This will recover as the swelling decreases and the fracture heals.
Avoid any thumb movements specially gripping or holding anything. Usually this heals in about 2-3 weeks of the injury. The worry starts if sign of infection like fever, redness etc. present, and symptoms like pain, swelling increases and bruise last for more than 3 weeks. The home remedies your can follow are:
1.     I'd suggest you apply ice packs to the area for the next 24 hours (this will help limit the bleeding in the injured areas), and then switch to warm packs, which will help your body clear the bruising away. (Remember to place a dry towel between your skin and an ice pack.)
2.     Take a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory for your discomfort (e.g., ibuprofen or naproxen); these medications usually are well tolerated and don't interact.
I hope this answers your query.
In case you have additional questions or doubts, you can forward them to me, and I shall be glad to help you out.
Wishing you good health.
Dr. Praveen Tayal.
For future query, you can directly approach me through my profile URL
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