What is skier’s 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.

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.

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.

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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.

Is skier’s thumb a sprain?

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.

What do you do for a strained thumb?

Treatment

  1. Rest. Try not use your hand for at least 48 hours.
  2. Ice. Apply ice immediately after the injury to keep the swelling down. …
  3. Compression. Wear an elastic compression bandage to reduce swelling.
  4. Elevation. As often as possible, rest with your hand raised up higher than your heart.

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 do I strengthen my thumb ligaments?

Thumb IP flexion

  1. Place your forearm and hand on a table. Your problem thumb should point up.
  2. With your other hand, hold your thumb steady just below the joint nearest your thumbnail.
  3. Bend the tip of your thumb down. Then straighten it.
  4. Repeat 8 to 12 times.
  5. Do this exercise several times a day.
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Is my finger jammed?

If it’s a jammed finger: When a person jams a finger, he or she will experience pain, redness, and the finger will feel weak. Depending on the force of trauma, the finger may also swell and lose some of its range of motion.

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.

What is a UCL tear in thumb?

When the thumb is forcefully bent sideways away from the rest of the hand, it can tear a ligament called the ulnar collateral ligament (UCL). The torn ligament makes gripping and pinching painful, and joint instability can lead to arthritis over time.

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 is thumb laxity?

Abstract. Instability in the thumb is one of the most frequent sport injuries following trauma with the finger in abducted position. Investigation of the stability includes pinch-hold test and conventional X-ray examination to visualize bone avulsion fractures.