or Connect
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Dislocated Thumb

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I wonder if anyone here has dislocated a thumb and can you talk about the recovery process?

Last weekend, tree-skiing at Kirkwood, I hit some ice and went straight into a tree. Not very fast, my pole straps were off, and I was wearing a helmet. But .. I brought my hands up to protect myself and the tree was fairly narrow. On impact, my left thumb was totally dislocated at the base joint. The 2 digits of the thumb were positioned 90degrees from where they should be, sort of out of the back of my hand. Ugh! I skied over to the urgent care unit and the doctor there re-located it and splinted my hand. Yeah, the relocation was PAINFUL !

The pain receeded very quickly and has been very settled in the split. A hand surgeon who saw it 3 days later, said it looked good, there was hardly any swelling, and it didn't hurt until he prodded it and moved it to assess the damage. He suspects I may have torn one of the ligaments - the one which is on the side closest to the index finger - and says it may need to be operated.

So - has anyone had a similar problem?
Is an operation the only way to go, or would scar tissue do the repair?
What symptoms make the operation necessary?
Anything I should do / take to hasten recovery?
Would Chondritin / Glucosamine help with recover and healing ?

Seeking any good advice / or share your experience.
post #2 of 7
I'd check with another hand surgeon (they can't all need a new boat), and if you get a similar report, plan on the surgery. That's a pretty serious injury to a very important joint. I've only had sprained thumbs, but even those can be a real limiter. I have a friend who dislocated her thumb in a ski fall and had to have a surgical repair. She skied most of the season with one pole and a hand in a cast. Kept telling her students they put her hand in a cast so she'd quit picking her nose.
post #3 of 7

thumb ligaments

i was a hand surgeon, and there is a ligament in that area that doesnt self-repair if you tore it. you can tell if the joint opens up when you stress it away from the index finger. you can find longer explanations under"game-keepers thumb"
post #4 of 7
been there done that............. hurt like hell as well.

On the second time (approx 10 years after the first) the xray showed that the ligament tore of part of the bone.

It is a pain to get back in place, and the plaster cast position they use is very annoying. think hand streched back. hold like that for a few minutes and imagine a few weeks.....

For getting back to your skiing, you will need to have some moulded plastic supports made. My hospital used some heat moldable plastic, that many of you will recognise as the same flesh coloured material that some custom footbeds are made from.

I had one made for writing, one for driving, and a special one to be able to use with with a glove and to hold a pole. Used this for skiing for about a year (skiing every week), and "touch wood2 had no problems since.
post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the responses.

Good news - saw my hand surgeon yesterday and after much flexing of the joint and several x-rays, she decided that the joint was still mechanically stable and did not need surgery. Whew!

I'll wear a removable splint for the next few weeks till it feels stronger. And I'm looking forward to skiing Kirkwood some more this week, and then 8 days at Trois Valley (France). YES!!

post #6 of 7

Skier's Thumb

It used to be called 'Gamekeeper's thumb' (they used to damage it on bird's necks).

It is now known as Skier's Thumb and is basically damage to the Ulnar Collateral Ligament of the thumb.

For a full, clear explanation of this injury go to: http://www.physioroom.com/injuries/a...prain_full.php
post #7 of 7
zott, don't give up on skiing and, yes, I read your posts so I know you haven't yet. When I played football I had lots of problems with fingers and thumbs. Over the years I dislocated most at least one joint, including both thumbs.

1. Pain - expect lots and for quite a while, say 3 to 6 weeks if you don't re-injure. It will be sore, and highly re-injury prone for at least 6 weeks. Ask your doc for suggestions.

2. Use - you can but should limit use for min 3 weeks and probably longer. My healing was best if I kept it flexible but did not strenuously use it for 6+ weeks. Remember Rest, Ice, Elevation and NSAID drugs like Naproxen/Aspirin will help the healing process.

3. Good luck and have fun skiing.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav: