Does skier’s thumb require surgery?

Typically, partial injuries to the ulnar collateral ligament are immobilized for several weeks, while complete rupture of the ligament usually requires surgical repair.

How long does it take for skier’s thumb to heal?

With skier’s thumb, the ligament is stretched or torn (sprained). This can cause pain. It can also limit movement and use of the thumb. Depending on how severe the injury is, it may take a few weeks or longer for the thumb to heal.

Does a torn thumb ligament require surgery?

The ligament is completely torn or is pulled off its attachment to the bone. These are significant injuries that require medical or surgical care. If the ligament tears away from the bone, it may take a small chip of the bone with it. This is called an avulsion fracture.

Can you ski with skiers thumb?

The ultimate stability of the ligament is important because of its contribution to the grasping function of the thumb. People with skier’s thumb may be able to return to work and even skiing in a short period with proper rehabilitation.

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What is a skier’s thumb injury?

Skier’s thumb, also known as Gamekeeper’s thumb, is an injury to the ulnar collateral ligament (UCL), which is located in the metacarpophalangeal (MCP) joint where the thumb meets the hand. The purpose of the UCL is to keep the thumb stable in order to pinch objects.

What happens if a broken thumb goes untreated?

Failure to treat a broken thumb can often result in arthritis or breaking down of the joint. This can cause chronic pain, stiffness, and swelling.

What does a partially torn UCL feel like?

Pain on the inner side of the elbow is the most common symptom of a UCL injury. A UCL tear may sometimes feel like a “pop” after throwing followed by intense pain. UCL injuries are diagnosed by physical examination and a valgus stress test to assess instability of the elbow.

How long does thumb ligament surgery take?

With traditional surgery, the ligament is sutured, and the thumb is immobilized in a cast for four to six weeks. “Athletes particularly dislike being in casts, and on top of that they can’t return to play for sometimes up to 10-12 weeks,” Shin notes. Internal brace augmentation cuts that time in half or less.

How long does it take to recover from UCL thumb surgery?

What is the recovery time? UCL repair surgery is an outpatient procedure and patients go home the same day. Most wear a soft splint for the first week and then spend four to six weeks in a cast to allow the ligament to heal. Rehabilitation with a certified hand therapist helps regain strength and stability.

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Can a torn thumb UCL heal itself?

By immobilizing the damaged ligament, healing can take place while the thumb will be protected from further injury. If the injury to the ulnar collateral ligament is more chronic, then it is likely that a direct repair will not be possible.

Why is it called gamekeepers thumb?

Gamekeeper’s thumb is an insufficiency of the ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) of the metacarpophalangeal (MCP) joint of the thumb. Campbell originally coined the term in 1955 because the condition was most commonly associated with Scottish gamekeepers (especially rabbit keepers) as a work-related injury.

What is the tendon in your thumb called?

Two major tendons — the extensor pollicis brevis and abductor pollicis longus tendons — connect the thumb to the forearm, passing through the fibrous sheath at the wrist (see the illustration).

How do you rehab a thumb?

Thumb Extension

Gently move your thumb away from your fingers as far as you can. Hold for 30 to 60 seconds and release. Repeat 10 to 15 times with both hands. You can do this exercise two to three times a week, but rest your hands for 48 hours in between sessions.

How do you check for a torn UCL in your thumb?

The UCL is tested by first holding the MCP in extension and applying valgus stress to the phalanx. The same is done with the MCP in 30 degrees of flexion.

What happens after UCL thumb surgery?

You will be limited for the first 6 weeks with pain, weakness, and stiffness in the hand and thumb. Most patients have minimal pain by 6 weeks after surgery, with nearly full thumb and hand motion by 3 months. Your symptoms will continue to improve by working in therapy.

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