About Skier’s Thumb / Gamekeeper’s Thumb
This injury was originally described as happening when a skier’s pole became stuck and the thumb was violently forced back by the skier’s forward momentum. Skier’s thumb is a sudden tear to the thumb’s ulnar collateral ligament (UCL), the tissue that joins the bones at the thumb’s base. This injury also may be called gamekeeper’s thumb in chronic cases. Symptoms include pain, swelling and an impaired ability to grasp against the thumb. Because of the ulnar collateral ligament’s key role in the hand’s overall function, it’s crucial that the injury receive immediate care.
Patient treatment options depend on factors including the time since injury and the presence of additional injuries among others. Many patients will go on to have strong healing with many weeks of cast immobilization. In some instances, failed casting or more severe tears may require surgery. Regardless of treatment, early treatment tends to have the most favorable results. Chronic tears often require different surgical options and approaches.
If you are concerned regarding this problem, we can perform a detailed examination, order tests as needed and discuss the options with you and find the option that best suits your needs. Contact us today.