Justin Fields, quarterback for Chicago Bears, dislocated his R thumb during the 3rd quarter against the Vikings this past weekend. Fields’s R hand is his throwing hand.
So why is the thumb so important? The thumb is crucial to most hand motions. These motions include gripping, hand opposition, flexion, extension, abduction and adduction. The 2 main joints of the thumb are the metacarpal phalangeal joint and the carpometacarpal joint. The CMC joint is a saddle joint which means that the thumb will roll and glide in the same direction for thumb flexion/extension and roll and glide in opposite direction for thumb abduction/adduction.
The most common dislocations for the thumb are at the MP joint and if injured, has less structures injured compared to the CMC joint. If CMC joint is dislocated, there is a higher risk of injury to other hand nerves, ligaments, and tendons in the hand.
The joint that Justin Fields has dislocated is currently unknown, but he did pop his thumb back into place at the time of the injury. Sometimes popping the injured joint back into place can cause damage to the surrounding tissues, tissues that help stabilize thumb.
So how does this injury cause a setback to the Bears QB1? Well Justin Fields will be out for at least the next few weeks depending on the severity of the injury. He will most likely be in a thumb splint to help with stabilization of thumb and hand.
Here is how Physical Therapy can help. We can help by:
⁃ providing soft tissue manual therapy to help with swelling and pain relief
⁃ help re-introduce strengthening activities for gripping, thumb flexion, adduction, extension, and abduction
⁃ stabilization exercises to help prevent re-injury
⁃ provide taping techniques for stabilization of thumb during functional activities.
Published October 20, 2023 | Posted in NFL Injury Spotlight.