Skier’s thumb was named after the injury that occurs from a fall with a ski pole in the hand. When the thumb is overstretched away from the hand it may cause a sprain, partial or full tear to the ulnar collateral ligament. This ligament helps stabilise the thumb, therefore injury to it causes pain and instability.
Injury to the ulnar collateral ligament of the thumb can also occur after forceful incidents such as falling onto the thumb, getting hit by a ball or overusing the thumb in activities.
Picture source: Gear Junkie https://gearjunkie.com/winter/skiing/skiers-thumb-injury-fall-skiing
Pain and swelling around the side of the thumb closest to the fingers. The thumb may feel weak and unstable when it is loaded during pinch or gripping activities.
Seek treatment as soon as possible. Delayed intervention can lead to chronic thumb instability and affect the thumb’s grasping ability in the future. A specialised hand therapist can assess the grade of the injury and fabricate a custom made orthosis to support and immobilise the thumb to allow healing of the ligament.
Suitable exercises aimed at regaining movement and strength will also be introduced progressively. Your hand therapist can also provide advice for activity modification and taping during the patient’s rehabilitation.
Skier’s thumb is a sprain or a partial or full tear to the ulnar collateral ligament of the thumb after a forceful incident. Early assessment and intervention can help you return to your regular activities sooner and reduce chronic instability in the long term. Our therapists at Melbourne Hand Therapy can help if you are experiencing any of these symptoms caused by a thumb injury or after a ligament surgery.
Please call us at Melbourne Hand Therapy today (03) 9899 8490 or leave an enquiry and we will get back to you as soon as possible.