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Skier's Thumb (cont.)

Skier's Thumb Prevention

  • Skiers should be taught to consciously discard the ski pole during all falls. Falling onto an outstretched hand while skiing without the ski pole in hand should minimize the chance of injury.
  • Skiers should also be encouraged to use poles with finger-groove grips without any restraining devices such as a wrist strap or closed grip.
  • You can prevent skier's thumb during a motor vehicle accident by keeping your thumbs on the outside of the steering wheel along with your fingers. This new routine will require a conscious effort because most drivers are taught to grip the steering wheel in a fashion similar to a ski pole.

Skier's Thumb Prognosis

  • Acute partial rupture of the ulnar collateral ligament can be treated effectively with four weeks of immobilization in a special cast. Healing with full recovery is the rule with partial ruptures.
  • With a total rupture, either immobilization or surgical repair can result in partial or full recovery with the potential for long-term complications, including chronic pain and instability of the joint.

Skier's Thumb Pictures

Skier's thumb. Fall on outstretched hand after discarding ski pole. Skier's thumb is unlikely with this mechanism of injury.
Skier's thumb. Fall on outstretched hand after discarding ski pole. Skier's thumb is unlikely with this mechanism of injury.

Skier's thumb. Fall on outstretched hand with ski pole in palm of hand. Skier's thumb is possible with this mechanism of injury.
Skier's thumb. Fall on outstretched hand with ski pole in palm of hand. Skier's thumb is possible with this mechanism of injury.

Medically reviewed by Aimee V. HachigianGould, MD; American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery

REFERENCE:

MedscapeReference. Skier's Thumb.


Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/25/2016
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Skier's Thumb - Causes

What was the cause of your skier's thumb?


Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Skier's Thumb »

Injuries to the ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) of the thumb were first recognized as an occupational condition in European gamekeepers.

Read More on Medscape Reference »


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