Skier’s Thumb

About Skier’s Thumb:

Skier’s thumb is a painful injury to the ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) of the thumb. This is caused by a forceful stretch towards the outer direction of the thumb ligament. This occurs when bracing for a fall with an outstretched hand or when skiers fall with the pole in hand causing their thumb to stretch when the handle of the pole comes in contact with the ground. When the ligament is completely torn, surgical intervention is the only appropriate option for repair.

Signs & Symptoms

  • Pain may be experienced at the base of the thumb
  • Swelling of the thumb
  • Having difficulty grasping or having weakness between the thumb and index finger
  • May feel tenderness along the index finger side of the thumb
  • Blue or black discoloration of skin over the thumb may be present
  • Gradually worsening thumb pain with any kind of movement
  • Wrist pain may be felt

How is it Treated?

  • Avoid further movement along the thumb to limit damage that may have been caused to the area
  • Pain medications may help temporarily
  • This injury may require surgery. Seeing an orthopedic specialist should be considered and is often the only good form of treatment

Doctors Who Treat This Condition

Associated Services