How long does it take for skiers thumb to heal?

At some point as you recover, your provider will ask you to begin exercises to regain movement and strength in your thumb. This may be as soon as 3 weeks or as long 8 weeks after your injury. When you restart an activity after a sprain, build up slowly. If your thumb begins to hurt, stop using it for a while.

Can skier’s thumb heal on its own?

This gives your thumb ligaments enough time to heal. Even in cases of a completely torn ligament, immobilization may be enough for proper healing. We order an MRI to evaluate your tear. If it’s in a good healing position, it may heal on its own without surgery.

How do you treat skiers thumb?

Skier’s Thumb Treatment Self-Care at Home

  1. Apply ice to the thumb for 35 minutes at a time, up to 4 times per day. …
  2. Avoid movement of the thumb as much as possible. …
  3. Take acetaminophen for pain relief or ibuprofen for anti-inflammatory action.

When should I see a doctor for skiers thumb?

Skier’s thumb is a common winter sports injury that happens when the thumb is bent backward or the ligament is torn. Most cases aren’t an emergency situation; however, if it is an open wound, seek medical care immediately, Andrew Markiewitz MD, a hand surgeon with the TriHealth Hand Surgery Specialists, explains.

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What happens if you don’t treat skier’s thumb?

The reason that you want to take care of this is it can lead to a chronic instability of that joint, meaning that you’re no longer able to fully use your thumb as a post because of non-healing of the ligament. So the typical course of treatment is in a non-operative setting, which is the vast majority, is a brace.

What is skiers thumb?

Skier’s thumb is an injury to the ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) of the thumb metacarpophalangeal joint (MCPJ) which has a serious risk of disabling chronic instability if not treated adequately. The lesion most often occurs in skiers when the ski pole forces the thumb to deviate radially.

Why does my thumb hurt after skiing?

A “Skier’s Thumb” injury happens when you fall onto your outstretched thumb. Blunt force on your thumb can stretch or tear the ligament along the outside of your thumb. Your thumb can become very sore and unstable, causing pain and making it difficult to pinch, grasp, or grip objects.

Can you feel a Stener lesion?

Usually the patient has pain, swelling and a hematoma at the ulnar side of the MCP joint of the thumb. Sometimes a mass can be felt in that area, which suggests a Stener lesion; however, it is not pathognomonic [8].

Can a torn thumb UCL heal itself?

A torn ligament cannot fully heal itself. Surgery for the thumb collateral ligaments is usually done as an outpatient procedure, meaning you will probably go home the same day as the surgery.

Where does skiers thumb hurt?

Skier’s thumb is an injury to the ulnar collateral ligament. This ligament is at the base of the thumb on the side near the pointer (index) finger. It helps keep the thumb stable when grasping or pinching objects. With skier’s thumb, the ligament is stretched or torn (sprained).

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What is a Stener lesion?

A Stener lesion is a complete tear of the ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) from the thumb proximal phalanx at the level of the metacarpophalangeal (MCP) joint that is displaced superficial to the adductor pollicis aponeurosis, leading to interposition of the aponeurosis between the UCL and the MCP joint.

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

The torn ligament makes gripping and pinching painful, and joint instability can lead to arthritis over time.


  1. Pain and tenderness over the joint at the base of the thumb.
  2. Thumb joint swelling / stiffness / bruising.
  3. Sensation of weakness or “giving way” of the thumb when pinching or gripping.

What is an unstable thumb?

The instability is characterized by varying and often progressive dislocation of the joint surfaces, resulting in a displaced axis of rotation and abnormal actions of thumb muscles. The main consequence of the instability is most often pain and weakness, most notably during pinch and grasping actions.

What does a torn thumb feel like?

Swelling at the base of the thumb. Stiffness. Tenderness of the thumb, towards the palm of your hand. If the ligament is completely torn, the end of the torn ligament may cause a lump on the thumb.

How can you tell if you tore your UCL?

If you experience any of the following symptoms, you may have a UCL injury:

  1. Clumsiness and weakness of hand grip.
  2. Elbow pain and stiffness.
  3. Loss of function in the elbow and arm.
  4. Numbness or tingling in the ring and little fingers and hand.
  5. Swelling and bruising.
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