Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Hand FAQ


My son dislocated his thumb when he went to catch a football and his thumb took the force of the ball straight on the tip. His doctor said my son may have to have surgery, but after discussing the case with his colleague, it was decided that my son just needed a splint. Is a splint enough or will his thumb be dislocated more easily now if he hurts it again?


Dislocated joints can range from mild injury to severe injury. If a joint comes out of place but goes back into place without causing any damage to tissue around it, then the worst part is likely the pain and the recovery time. However, if a joint comes out of place and affects the blood flow around the joint or it damages the tissue, then surgery may be needed to prevent complications. As well, even if a joint dislocation doesn't seem serious, if the ligaments have been torn, there is a chance that they don't heal properly. In this case, surgery may be recommended down the road. Can dislocated joints dislocate more easily again? There is evidence that this happens to many people, but it depends on the severity of the dislocation and how much damage was done. Samir R. Shah, MD, Randy Bindra, MD, and Justin W. Griffin, BS. Irreducible Dislocation of the Thumb Interphalangeal Joint With Digital Nerve Interposition: Case Report. In Journal of Hand Surgery. March 2010. Vol. 35. No. 3. Pp. 422-424.

*Disclaimer:* The information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read in this topic.
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