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Cast or splint for broken thumb (adult)?

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Old 09-06-2011, 12:21 PM   #1
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Charlotte, NC
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Cast or splint for broken thumb (adult)?

I jammed my thumb last week, and today my nurse practitioner said that her preliminary analysis is that it is a Bennett's fracture. I am going back for X-rays tomorrow. It is not extremely painful, but I am having some issues gripping things for a long time and also some numbness.

If it is indeed broken, is it more likely that I will get a cast or a splint? I did some internet research this afternoon, and while it seems that a short arm thumb spica cast is the usual/recommended treatment, I also read that a lot of doctors use splints instead of casts for adults (I am a 35 year old male). It seems that casts are used for children because they are more likely to re-injure things on their own.

I am wondering if anyone has any experience with this? I want to avoid a cast if at all possible, but I also want it to heal properly, so I don't think I would be able to refuse a cast if that's what it has to be. I was shocked to see pictures of how long a thumb spica cast actually is (almost to the elbow and covers the hand as well), considering that the injury is only to a very small part of then thumb.

Thanks for any thoughts/experiences on whether it's more likely that I get a cast or splint.

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Old 09-16-2011, 08:59 AM   #2
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Charlotte, NC
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Re: Cast or splint for broken thumb (adult)?

Turned out, thumb was indeed broken (Bennett's fracture). And she put me in a cast. She said it will need to stay on for 6-8 weeks, which is a little longer than I thought. I begged for a splint instead, but she said that doesn't offer as much protection as a cast and thus can delay the healing process if there is any contact with, or movement of, the thumb.

I hate this thing. It comes up to almost my elbow and feels tight (and heavy). Plus, it is purple. Are you kidding me?! The only other choice was neon green. There need to be better options for white, black, gray, etc.

Old 09-16-2011, 11:51 AM   #3
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Re: Cast or splint for broken thumb (adult)?

Sucks it's it's a colour of "royalty", so that might get you past the initial shock of that aspect.

Since you'll need your thumb for most everything you do, the healing process and recovery afterward of probable physio makes it necessary to be patient.

You might consider to put a cloth cover, that is available,over the cast to protect it and cover the colour if it bothers you.

Hope you heal well.
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