Skiers Thumb

Skiers Thumb

Description Of The Injury: Skier’s thumb is caused by an acute injury to a ligament in the thumb. The injury is a result of the forced stretching of the thumb in an outward direction. It is more common among skiers who brake at high speeds or hit the ground with skiing poles still in their hands.

Injury Symptoms: Common symptoms include sharp or dull pain around the first knuckle of the thumb, tenderness, and swelling. The pain in the thumb will also become much more acute when moved in any or all directions. Great difficulty in grasping objects between the index finger and the thumb is another symptom.

Additional Information

Home Treatments:

Apply ice for 35 minutes 4 times a day. Place the ice in a plastic bag wrapped in a towel. Avoid moving the thumb through a brace or cast. A strain may take 4 to 6 weeks to heal.

Professional Medical Treatments:

A more severe injury may require surgery to repair the ligament. This type of surgery often involves suturing the ligament to itself or a bone. Fractures in the area are commonly repaired with wires or screws.

Physical Therapy and Exercises:

Range-of-motion exercises can typically be started 4 weeks after a serious injury, using specialized rubber bands or other equipment to put gentle pressure on the thumb and stretch it.

Exercise Techniques to Prevent Injury:

No exercise can prevent Skier’s Thumb, but skiers should consciously practice discarding the ski pole during all falls.

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