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UCL Tear Questions...

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Yep, a skier's thumb story...

Last winter, I was in the trees at Sugarloaf. Had my pole straps on. Planted the pole, and it didn't come with me. Thumb dislocates; I fall, popping it back in. Had x-rays, etc. Splint for two weeks, then on my merry way.

Fast-forward to St. Paddy's, this year. Back at Sugarloaf, on some ungroomed terrain. It was a touch firm, but nothing crazy. Planted my pole, and I'm guessing my thumb was on top of the pole. At any rate, dislocated again, popped back in. Went to the ER, doc thought it was just a strain. Didn't even want to give me a splint. It gets worse (swelling, pain, etc.) so I see an orthopedist, who lets me know I've torn the ulnar collateral ligament in my thumb, so badly he could have had my thumb touch the topside of the wrist.

I'm one week post-surgery at this point, with a splint-cast combo and the pin driven through the thumb to keep it immobilized. Wondering if anybody has experience with recovery, the pin being removed, and suggestions for new poles and grips so I don't play this game anymore.
post #2 of 6
Concerning the recent injury, did you have the pole strap on.  If it was on, was it between your hand and pole or just looped around the wrist, sort of over the top?

i.e. Was it like this one (A)?


of this one (B)?


You might want to consider not using your pole straps in the future.
post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
 Discarded use of pole straps after injury 1. Learned my lesson...or so I thought.

I know when I fell that first time, though, that pole strap wound up wrapped like in that first photo of yours. Not sure how, but it did.
post #4 of 6
Poles with self releasing straps are nice. I've benefited from them many times since they were obtained. Prior to that, no straps in off piste if a pole snag was possible. I use Life Link Composite poles. I preferred my BDs with the flick lock adjustment over the twist style of the LL, but for $5.00 at a yard sale I was sold on the LL after breaking the BDs.

Photo (A) is the correct way to use a pole strap. It lets you push on the strap, especially when skating nordic style.
post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
 My ortho surgeon was saying how that style of strap wear will cause a lot of UCL failure, because it can wrap around the thumb and pull it out of the socket.

At any rate, a different grip style at minimum (current K2s make my thumbs go over the top, which we've established is Bad News Bears), and then a releasing style strap is probably wise as well. 

Still hoping for some responses from those that have had surgery and know what pin removal will be like...
post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 
 Update: out of the splint, into a cast with a window cut into it so I can clean the pin twice a day. And yes, it sounds as exciting as it looks. Due to the warmth up here, looks like ski season is over for me. 

Pin removal two weeks from today. Anybody know what that and rehab will be like?
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