What is Skiers’ Thumb?
With approximately over one million British people going skiing each year several skiing related injuries will occur, one of the most common of these is skiers’ thumb. What many people don’t appreciate is the importance of our thumbs for hand movement, gripping and simply moving your fingers without being in pain.
Skiers’ thumb got its name because of the way a skier will grip their pole and when a fall occurs the skier can fall onto their thumb in this position which results in the strong ligament supporting the thumb becoming damaged.
However, even without a fall simply by gripping a pole for a long period of time can result in the tendon becoming overworked and strained causing it to become inflamed and painful.
The symptoms of skiers’ thumb are swelling and bruising particularly at the base of the thumb.
Griping object will become extremely difficult using the injured thumb. The severity of injuries can differ from a small partial tear in the ligament to a complete tear.
Skiers’ thumb can be treated is several ways dependant on the severity of the injury, a partially torn ligament can be treated with a splint or cast as well as short course of rehabilitation exercises.
A completely torn ligament will require surgery to repair the ligament followed again by a period of rehabilitation.
Some patients will choose to wear a thumb support to offer extra stability and prevent a re-occurrence of the injury when partaking in sport.
Always make sure if you think you have a torn ligament that you seek medical attention and refrain from strenuous activity so to not cause any further, longer-term damage.