Skier’s thumb? Gamekeeper’s thumb?
Injuries usually occur as a result of a sporting mishap. It is commonly seen in skier’s, footballers and rugby players. The ligament may also be directly damaged as a direct result of a fall or other trauma.
- Pain and tenderness over the base of the thumb
- Swelling and or bruising over base of the thumb
- Pain with movement of the affected thumb and difficulty gripping objects
- Instability or catching of the thumb on movement
Treatment is highly varied and dependent on a number of factors.
- Severity/grade of the injury
- How long ago injury occurred
- Patient age
- Physical demands of the patient
- Likely adherence of patient to protocols
If only a partial rupture has occurred patients are either placed in a mild cast or wrist splint (known as thumb spica) for 4 to 6 weeks.
Following surgery, patients will be placed in a cast for four to six weeks to protect the repaired ligament. During this time gentle range of movement exercises will be commenced progressing to stretching and strengthening exercises. Return to sports and full activity usually occurs 3 to 4 months after surgery.
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