Strains and sprains of the metacarpophalangeal (MCP) joint of the thumb can occur as a result of a sudden force or by repetitive motion. It can be caused by direct trauma to the joint, such as a fall, or by overuse of the joint, such as when gripping or twisting an object.
Diagnosis of strain or sprain of the MCP joint of the thumb is usually made based on physical examination and history of the injury. The exam may reveal swelling, pain, and tenderness at the joint. Range of motion may be limited.
Differential diagnoses may include other causes of pain at the MCP joint such as arthritis or tendonitis.
Treatment of strain or sprain of the MCP joint of the thumb may include rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE). Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may also be used to reduce pain and inflammation. Physical therapy may be prescribed to help restore range of motion and strength.
The prognosis for strain or sprain of the MCP joint of the thumb is generally good. Most cases resolve within a few weeks if the injury is managed properly. Chronic pain or disability may occur if the injury is not managed properly.