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Crush injury to thumb
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Crush injury to thumb

Six weeks ago while working in my back yard I dropped a large piece of flagstone (about 50 lbs) on my thumb.  The brunt of the impact was to the thumb joint, the top of my thumb and thumb nail were relatively unaffected.  Needless to say, there was a great deal of pain and swelling from the initial trauma, I noticed a small split in the skin just below the thumb joint shortly after the event.  I was not sure if the abbresion was the result of the impact of the rapid swelling of my thumb.  

About two week after the injury I decided I shoudl see a doctor since I was still experiencing significant pain, swelling and lack of mobility (very difficult to bend my thumb).  My thumb was x-rayed and a physician assitant at my regular orthopedic physcian reviewed the x-ray and breifly examined my thumb.  She advised their was no break and I should not worry since crush injuries can be very sore for several weeks.

Another four weeks have passed and I am still experiencing pain, tenderness on both the front and back of the thumb near the joint, and reduced mobility.  I can bend my thumb, but not to the same extent as pre-injury.  My thumb even still exhibits a slight amount of swelling.  I would not call the

Should I be concerned or does this type of injury typically take an extended period of time to heal?
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Such injuries can take a couple of months to begin to get better.  Nail injuries take up to a year to get completely over.  If you are worried, return to the doctor.  You might want to see the doctor instead of the PA just to get a better opinion.  Most PAs are very good, but never as good as the doctor themselves.  Get another xray done to see how you are doing.  Healing is a highly individual thing and depends on your overall health.  If you are older or diabetic, healing may take longer for you.  The rule-of-thumb is 6-8 weeks for such an injury to heal,  10-18 weeks for a diabetic.  Good luck
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Avatar_f_tn
I am an RN and have suffered a crushed thumb.  The small cut on your thumb is probably where you either cut or crushed a nerve.  This will cause pain in your hand and sometimes all the way to your elbow.  It will also cause numbness or altered feeling in the area that it serves.  It takes 1 mth for a nerve to grow 1 inch, approx.  It can take up to a year for the pain to go away completely.  Make sure you hold the injured part up and not hanging.  Ice alternated with heat every 10-15 min. (never leave ice on for more than that space of time).  Make sure you get an xray because this trauma can cause cracks in the bone.  Also if you have cut the nerve you may need surgery.  Usually if the nerve is cut, the small laceration that develops after the crush injury will bleed.  Bandaging:  any type of splint or plastic that will keep the thumb/finger still and protected.  I am the worst pt.  I refused to wear a plastic splint and wound up hitting the nerve in the same place and setting my healing back a month or so.  Good luck
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philnoir
Four Corners, CO