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Thread: skier's thumb

  1. #1
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    skier's thumb

    I've had this problem for a long time, but it never really got aggravated unless I did something really clumsy or stupid. Now after I take my new bike out for a ride it hurts for 4-5 days. Does anyone else have any experience with riding a bike with this type of injury? And any advice on how to keep from reinjuring it or experiencing any pain would be great.

  2. #2
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    skiers thumb is a sprain of the ulnar collateral ligament in the thumb. It' just like any other sprain and should be treated the same way. The only difference is the thumb doesn't heal really nice because like the TMJ we use it a lot. Try ultrasound. Underwater ultrasound is best for small areas like the thumb. Chiropractor or physical therapist can do it.

  3. #3
    i call it a kaiser blade
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    Quote Originally Posted by mlepito
    skiers thumb is a sprain of the ulnar collateral ligament in the thumb. It' just like any other sprain and should be treated the same way. The only difference is the thumb doesn't heal really nice because like the TMJ we use it a lot. Try ultrasound. Underwater ultrasound is best for small areas like the thumb. Chiropractor or physical therapist can do it.
    could be a sprain, avulsion of the tendon, or an actual avulsion fracture of the base of the phalanx--requiring k-wires.

  4. #4
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    How long ago did you hurt it? I did the same thing biking 5 weeks ago and thought it was just a sprain. I finally went to my Dr. after 3 weeks who sent me to a sports medicine Dr. who knew right away that I tore the ligament off entirely. It was bunched up and would not attach in the right spot without surgery. That leads me to today having had the surgery 10 days ago and not being able to ride for 2 months. Sucks! I have a pin in my thumb for 4 more weeks to alow the ligament to heal properly. I hope that you get it checked out to make sure that it is healing properly so there are not any long term problems. I'm glad I got mine checked out in time to have it properly taken care of. I plan on checking back on this forum to see how people are doing with the recovery and how/when they can ride again. Dying to get out riding but I don't want to screw it up!

  5. #5
    Masher
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    I've done the same thing. After my surgery (8 years ago?) my grip strength was not good, and it took a long time to recover... Thumb shifters scared the crap out of me, I was always worried that during a shift I'd hit something and tear the ligament again...

    Grip shift solved that problem! Now I could grab the entire grip with fingers and thumb and not worry about snapping my thumb again.

    Something to think about while recovering! Good Luck! (no pun intended with the smilie)

  6. #6
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    Ive never had it officially looked at. Its just that "skier's thumb" seemed like a likely cause of the pain I've been having from what Ive researched. Its been messed up for a long time, but I don't think its a full tear because I can function fine 99% of the time it just gets aggravated every now and then. As far as how long I've had it... I dunno, I think it started it Jr High when I was playing football.. a good ten years ago.

    The pain seems to have gone away for now. I picked up a pair of tight fitting gloves that seem to offer good thumb stability. I'm hoping that they will keep it from getting aggravated again.

    good luck with the recovery

  7. #7
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    I've had the "pleasure" of having this surgery on both my thumbs. A couple of years ago, I tore the left one snowboarding.

    While the hand surgeon was evaluating me, he commented how loose my right hand was. I had sprained it 20 years ago in high school softball. Same thing, hurt sometimes but I generally ignored it.

    To make a long story short, here's what he told me: by leaving the area alone, the repeated stress to my thumb was starting arthritic changes in the joint. If not repaired, it would eventually reach the point where I'd need a fusion to that joint. The initial surgery plan for the right was to take a tendon graft from my wrist to make the repair, because of how long ago the injury was. Luckily for me, once he got in there, he found a shred of attached ligament to work with and I avoided the graft.

    My thumbs still get sore with long rides, especially with long, rocky descents. I was advised to use really fat grips, to relieve the pressure. That does seem to help. I also have braces to wear, but I don't like wearing them while I ride.

    I was really paranoid about re-tearing the ligaments for a couple of years, but I'm slowly working out of that fear.

    Hope that helps,

    Marcia

  8. #8
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    Get a rock climbing book and read how to tape it up.

  9. #9
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    been there done that..

    I actually broke my thumb in softball, taking a hot one on a bad bounce while playing 3rd...
    This happened in Sept and I wouldn't go to the Dr until mid Dec, should not have waited.

    It finally got to the point i could not start my truck with my right hand... Zero strength....
    But after a $5k surgery and a nice titanium pin protruding from my hand for about 2 weeks, it was all better.

    The ligament and a small bone fragment actually tore away from the bone... OUCH...

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