Skier’s thumb got its name because this injury frequently happens during skiing accidents during which a person falls and doesn’t let go of the ski pole. The thumb is jerked away from the index finger, stretching or even completely tearing the ulnar collateral ligament.
What causes skier’s thumb?
Skier’s Thumb Causes
A fall on an outstretched hand with a ski pole in the palm of your hand creates the force necessary to stress the thumb and stretch or tear the ligament. A simple fall on an outstretched hand with an empty palm usually does not create this same force.
Does skier’s thumb require surgery?
It helps keep your thumb stable when grasping or pinching objects. With skier’s thumb, the ligament is stretched or torn (sprained). This can cause pain and can limit movement and use of the thumb. You may need surgery to repair or reconstruct the ligament and restore function.
Is skier’s thumb painful?
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.
How do you prevent skier’s thumb?
Preventing Skier’s Thumb
If you fall holding an object like a ski pole or something similar, make a conscious effort to let go of the object you are holding to avoid landing on it. When driving a car, be cautious of putting your thumbs on the inside of the steering wheel.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
How long does gamekeeper’s thumb take to heal?
Treatment Options for Gamekeeper’s Thumb
Splints that stabilize and immobilize the thumb and/or wrist are required to facilitate healing and are generally worn for 4 to 6 weeks to allow adequate healing to take place.
What is a skiers thumb?
What is Skier’s/Gamekeeper’s thumb? 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.
How do you rehab a thumb?
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.
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).
What is the muscle between your thumb and index finger called?
It helps fill the first webspace between the thumb and index finger and weakens with severe cubital tunnel syndrome or other lesions of the ulnar nerve.