Collateral Ligament Tear
Falling on an outstretched thumb can tear the ligament near the base of the thumb (ulnar collateral ligament). The torn ligament and surrounding tissues swell and can be painful.
A partially torn ligament will repair itself. But a splint, cast, or other devices must be used to keep the thumb from moving. Surgery may be needed to repair a severely torn ligament.
Hands and fingers are subject to many types of cuts (lacerations). A cut may be minor, affecting only the outer layer of skin. Or it may be major, cutting deep into tendons and nerves and exposing bone. The tendons that allow you to straighten and bend your hand and fingers are the extensor and flexor tendons.
Extension Tendon Treatment
Severed extensor tendons can be stitched back together. If the wound is dirty, it may be left open to drain. Once it’s cleaned and disinfected, it’s stitched shut. Then a cast or a splint is applied. Physical therapy may be recommended.
Splints keep the fingers in the proper position so the tendon can heal.
Therapy may include massage to loosen scar tissue. Monitored range-of-motion exercises may also be needed.
Flexor Tendon Treatment
Flexor tendons are harder to repair than are extensor tendons. Scar tissue is more likely to form.
Splints keep the finger from moving. This allows the tendons to heal and become strong enough to support movement.
Therapy may include massage, stretching, and finger exercises. This loosens scar tissue and slowly increases mobility.