Strains and sprains of the long flexor muscle, fascia, or tendon of the thumb at the wrist or hand level are often caused by overstretching the muscle or tendon, or by sustaining a direct blow to the area. Other causes can include repetitive strain injuries, such as those caused by excessive texting or typing.
Diagnosis is made through physical examination of the affected area and may also involve imaging tests such as an X-ray or MRI to rule out any other potential causes of pain.
Differential diagnosis includes carpal tunnel syndrome, De Quervain’s tenosynovitis, arthritis of the thumb, and more serious injuries such as fractures or ligament tears.
Treatment includes rest, ice, and anti-inflammatory medications to reduce pain and swelling. If the injury is severe or does not respond to conservative treatment, surgery may be necessary.
Prognosis is generally good, as most strains and sprains can be successfully treated with rest, ice, and medication. Surgery may be necessary for more severe injuries, but the prognosis is still generally good.