Game Keepers ThumbSkiers thumb, it has actually happened to a friend of mine right in front of me, yup she fell down, and got up with skiers thumb.  She took a fall while holding her ski pole in an odd position, got up, skied a goodly amount of the afternoon and when we went into the warm up hut, she took off her glove to find out she had virtually no motion in her thumb. Welcome to a hot cup of coco and a dysfunctional skiers thumb injury. Knowing what I know, I thought it was a dislocation and proceeded to relocate it. No pain with the maneuver but alas it just wouldn’t stay. So I accosted a friendly passing  member of the ski patrol  who turned out to be VERY friendly. He sat down with us and as he proceeded to run through a through diagnostic protocol that I thought to myself, man this guy must have seen this before. He also tried to relocate the thumb as I did with the same results. Imagine my surprise to find out when he isn’t doing ski patrol, he’s a Chiropractor.

So what we had in this case was a total tear of the ulnar collateral ligament otherwise known as Skiers Thumb or Game Keepers Thumb.

Needless to say this particular case required  a surgical intervention …. HOWEVER, some of you may have suffered this on a much less severe level with a partial tear.

What do you to with a partial tear…. First step, R.I.C.E. ! Rest is the no brainer, Ice twenty minutes with two hours between applications as many times as you can stand it during the day, Compression use of an ace bandage or compression sleeve, and Elevation while you are resting, hold the area above heart level to assist with vascular drainage. Sometimes it help to use  a splint particularly while you sleep.

Sometimes in moderate to severe cases of skiers thumb Doctors recommend, a cast for four to six weeks is in order prior to a surgical consult.

Ultimately if your case doesn’t respond to the above, a consult with a hand surgeon would be the next logical step.

Now take care of that skiers thumb and I’ll see you on the slopes !