The Thumb

Many activities involve use of our thumbs. While we often take our thumbs for granted, a number of conditions can reduce our ability to use them or can fill our daily lives with pain. Arthritis can form at the base of the thumb, or the thumb can become hard to use because of De Quaervain's tendonitis or injuries to the flexor tendon.

Please select a service below to learn more:

Amputation and Prosthetics

If a thumb is lost or needs to be removed, effective and modern prosthetics can be used if reattachment is not possible. Cosmetic devices look surprisingly realistic, and other designs can reproduce many normal functions.

Arthritis at the Base of the Thumb

This condition can make it difficult to perform routine, daily tasks without pain or discomfort. The thumb's joint is very complex and uniquely shaped, which contributes to its likelihood for injury.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Repetitive motions or other causes can result in an inflamed nerve that makes motion difficult or painful. While this condition can arise from a number of causes, repetitive motions often aggravate it, causing even more pain in a cycle.

Congenital Hand Differences

Genetic and other factors can produce an extra thumb. If the difference is merely a cosmetic one, it can often be corrected by surgical means. Such differences are more common than many believe and can occur because of wide variety of causes.

De Quervain's Tendonitis

Tendons at the base of the thumb can become tender or inflamed when new activities are performed. New mothers are especially prone to this condition that can appear following the new and awkward movements they must practice when caring for their baby. This condition first appears as pain along the side of the wrist, near the thumb.

Erb's Palsy (Brachial Plexus Injury)

Part of a large network, nerve endings in the thumb can be damaged, cut, or stretched. It is possible, through surgery, to repair certain types of damage. Nerve damage can lead to pain or numbness.

Extensor Tendon Injuries

Small cuts and blows can injure tendons that lay close to the skin. When the extensor tendons are injured, it may be difficult or impossible to straighten the thumb or fingers, but treatment ranging from splints to surgery often successfully recovers lost movement.

Fireworks Injuries

Thumbs are easily injured or lost through explosives, especially from any held in the hand. Unnecessary and needless accidents of this type can permanently lower the quality of life for no good reason. Leave these explosive devices to the experts and enjoy the show!

Flexor Tendon Injuries

The tendons that produce fine finger and thumb movement can be damaged and cause pain or restrict movement. These tendons, which run through the palm, can become cut and this can reduce or eliminate our ability to move our thumb. Cut tendons can sometimes be repaired through surgical means.

Hand Fractures

The many fine bones that make up our hands and thumbs are very susceptible to breaking. A broken thumb may heal on its own, but qualified medical care will reduce the likelihood of arthritis developing and increase the chances of maintaining full and effective thumb movement.

Hand Infections

The thumb is subject to a wide array of infections that can come from many causes. Infections in the hand or wrist can travel here through the bloodstream, or the infection may start here following a cut or traumatic accident.

Human or Animal Bites

Thumbs are frequently involved in bites, and serious injury or infections are often the result. Children, especially, receive bites from animals, and any bite should be examined by a doctor who can perform a thorough cleaning than cannot be accomplished at home.

Nail Bed Injuries

Crushing or solid blows to the nail can produce extensive and painful injuries. If the nail bed is injured, underlying nerves, bones, and tendons can be injured as well. Any injury to the nail bed can lead to a loss of the nail, and qualified medical care should be given to fully determine the extent of the injury.

Nerve Injuries of the Hand

Nerves are most often damaged due to accidents that cut or crush them. The nerves, themselves, aren't particularly strong and can be easily stretched or injured. If the nerve is hurt, it may not be able to send messages to and from the brain.

Osteoarthritis of the Hand

Every joint in the body can develop osteoarthritis, but it can be especially noticeable in the thumb. The frequency with which we use our thumbs makes the joint more likely to wear out over time, and osteoarthritis can make gripping or pinching difficult or impossible.

Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy

This painful condition can show up in or near the thumb as well as elsewhere on the body and frequently manifests as swelling. Pain, either unexplained or far out of proportion to a minor injury, is a symptom of this disorder. Treatment may include injections of an anesthetic, exercise therapy, or other treatments, up to surgical procedures.

Replantation of the Thumb

A severed thumb can sometimes be reattached with limited use regained. The condition of the severed thumb is very important, and if it was cleanly cut from the body, the chances of successfully reattaching it are greater. It may take months before rehabilitation is complete.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

The joints in the thumb can wear out or have their linings damaged, and rheumatoid arthritis can result. Treatment options for this condition range from medication to relieve pain and reduce swelling to surgery.

Tendon Transfer Surgery

A working tendon's attachment to one bone can be moved to serve a bone whose tendon has been injured and is unable to function. This procedure can produce very good results, including loss of pain.

Thumb Sprains

Damage to the ligaments that hold bones together are frequent in the thumb, which is subject to being jammed or unnaturally bent. Since thumbs both stick out and are frequently used, they are especially susceptible to injuries of this nature.

Trigger Finger

A pain or popping sensation when the thumb is moved may result from a knot on a tendon. Whenever the tendon is moved, it feels as if it sticks for a moment before triggering. Surgery can restore easy movement for the tendon and eliminate of this condition.

Vascular Disorders

If the supply of blood to the thumb is compromised, surgical and non-surgical treatments may be beneficial. With an adequate blood supply, the tissues in the thumb can repair themselves normally after minor injuries, and restoration of blood flow can eliminate the possibility of tissue death.