Skier’s thumb is most often caused by a fall on an outstretched hand. Skiers tend to get this injury, which is how the condition gets its name. But the injury can also occur as the result of any activity or accident that forces your thumb into an extreme position.
How does skier’s thumb happen?
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.
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 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.
How do you check for a torn UCL in your thumb?
You may have bruising, tenderness, and swelling around the base of your thumb, near the palm. If the ulnar collateral ligament is completely torn, the end of the ruptured ligament may cause a lump or swelling on the inside of the thumb. Your thumb joint may also feel loose or unstable.
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.
Can a torn UCL thumb 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.
When should you go to the doctor for a thumb injury?
Anyone who experiences thumb pain, particularly if it lasts longer than a few days should see a doctor. Even though most sprains do not require treatment, a doctor might recommend a splint and ensure that there is no additional damage.
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.
Should I wear a thumb splint at night?
Wear your splint(s) when you feel pain or anticipate you might feel pain. This means during the day or throughout the night. Wear them when you are working with your hands or you think working with your hands might create pain in your thumbs. In wet or dirty environment, wear gloves over your splints.
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 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 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.
Is UCL thumb surgery painful?
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. It is important that you consistently work with your therapist to optimize motion and strength after surgery.