Two wks ago I had an accident at wk (dog grooming), my thumb was bent back. The er doc said there was a hairline fracture to follow up w/an orthopedic. They splinted it. Ten days later, at the orthopedic, he says the ligament is torn (ulnar collateral ligament). The thumb has no stability. He told me it needed either surgery or we put a cast on for 6 wks. He said that if it doesn't heal it may need surgery. How will we know? Will it still hurt? If it is still unstable does that mean surgery? I am just scared that this is going to cost me my career. I need my hands.How long will this put me out of wk?
The most common injury of the upper extremity for downhill skiers occurs at the thumb and is sometimes referred to as "skier's thumb". The injury is actually a sprain, partial or complete tear, of the ulna collateral ligament (UCL) of the thumb. This injury is caused by a force applied directly to the inside (ulnar) portion of the thumb. The force can cause the ligament to either partially tear or completely rupture and cause disabling pain when attempting to grip or lift items. This can be a serious injury if not recognized early and treated appropriately. After a careful examination to determine the degree of instability the injury has caused to the thumb, special x-rays known as stress x-rays be taken of your thumb. Only rarely is an MRI is used to visualize the injury. Partial tears can be treated with a brace or a cast. However, complete tears of UCL will require surgery for proper restoration of function. In complete tears, a lesion known as a Stenner lesion will prevent healing without surgical treatment. The Stenner lesion occurs when the the tendon sheath just above the torn ligament falls between the ligament edges and prevents healing,
The cause of skier's thumb has been theorized to occur from improper grasping of the pole strap and is caused by the pole straining against the thumb during a fall. To prevent this injury, it is suggested not to wrap your straps around your wrist or to use a clip on type of strap to the glove. The risk can be reduced by placing your hand through the pole strap from the bottom up so that you are grabbing the strap and the pole at the same time. This way, when you fall, your hand has a better chance of disengaging the pole.
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