By: randosteve|Posted on: February 16, 2009|Posted in: About Steve Romeo | 24 comments

Randosteve’s skier’s thumb. Note the piece of bone separated from the rest of the thumb.
Courtesy: Orthopedic Associates of Jackson Hole

I know you’ve all heard of it and I bet most of you have had one. Over the past few year’s, I’ve had a few instances ofย  “skiers thumb”, and my most recent injury happened while skiing the Chouinard Couloir on the Middle Teton last week. I thought I would just tape it up and live with the pain for a few days, but an orthopedic surgeon friend of mine said he would comp me some x-rays to make sure everything was okay ligament and bone-wise. Unfortunately, the x-rays showed a small fragment had been broken off my thumb bone.ย  But luckily, the ligament wasn’t completely torn. Though the orthopod recommended immobilizing it for four weeks, I think I’ll be lucky if I can keep it splinted up for more than two. Though it won’t keep me from skiing, once it starts to feel better, I’m sure I will have a hard time continuing to wear the brace.

How many times have you had Skier’s Thumb?

Skiers Thumb (aka, Gamekeeper’s Thumb) is an injury where the thumb is abnormally bent backwards or to the side, and causes injury to the soft tissue that connects the bones of the thumb or the ulnar collateral ligament the stretches from the base of the thumb to the bottom of the index finger. Often, a ski pole in the hand is what creates enough force to cause injury…and a ski pole strap often magnifies the effect. There are different severities of “skier’s thumb” people can incur, ranging from a sprained ligament, a complete tare of the ligaments, or the ligaments pulling a piece of bone off of the thumb. For most cases, immobilization is the answer, but complete ligament tares will often require surgery.