Thumb Ulnar Collateral Ligament (UCL) Injury

This injury occurs when the soft tissue or ligament that connects the bones of thumb together are injured. The ligament is torn away from the bone at the joint known as the metacarpophalangeal joint. This ligament is responsible for the stability of the thumb and your hands ability to grasp using the thumb.

Skier's Thumb Anatomy

The soft tissue/ligament that is torn is known as the ulna collateral ligament of the thumb. It occurs with a fall onto an outstretched hand with an object impacting the space between your thumb and index finger. The thumb is then abnormally bend backwards or to the side.

Skier's Thumb Symptoms

Pain at the base of the thumb in the web space between the thumb and index finger -swelling -inability grasping or weakness grasping between the thumb and index finger -tenderness on the index finger side of your thumb -bruising -pain with movement of the thumb

Skier's Thumb Treatment

If you suspect an injury such as a skiers thumb you should seek medical attention -often x rays or an MRI may be ordered to confirm the injury -a thumb spica brace can be used for subtle injuries that are stable, however these often require surgical intervention which may consist of repairing the torn ligament or reconstructing the ligament. After surgery you may be placed into a splint or cast -these injuries often require occupational therapy as a part of the treatment to restore motion and strength