Skiers thumb is a fairly common problem making up 15% of all injuries that happen when you hit the slopes. It occurs when falling over onto an open hand, catching the thumb in the snow, or via a valgus force from the ski pole, which injures a ligament at the base of your thumb. Injuries can vary from a simple sprain to (unfortunately) the more common full ligament rupture.
Symptoms are markedly reduced grip power and pain at the base of the thumb. Should you injure your thumb it’s best to ice the area regularly (put some snow into a wet sock and hold it over the area for about 20 minutes (no longer than that otherwise you can get an ice burn). Splinting the thumb also helps and most ski centre pharmacies will stock thumb spica braces, which must be worn continuously until you can get the thumb properly assessed. Even if there is a full rupture splinting is the first treatment of choice as the ligament can knit together. With children and some adults there is a heightened possibility of an avulsion fracture, where the ligament does not tear but instead the bit of bone it is attached too is pulled off. Again, Ice and splinting is the treatment of choice, Unfortunately, if there is no improvement after 8-12 weeks then surgery is recommended.
The best thing to do is try and avoid the injury in the first place, so please watch my video for the best 3 ways to avoid this problem.
Again, if the worst thing happens and you hurt the thumb please pop along to the clinic so that we can assess it and give you the best information to aid your recovery.
Please share the video with anyone you know who is going skiing…..Happy Skiing!!