Gamekeeper’s Thumb Treatment and Management Tips

Thumb Sprains and Triangle Orthopaedics

At Triangle Orthopaedics, we understand that athletic injuries can be extremely painful, both on a physiological level as well as an emotional level.  Most athletes want to return to the game as quickly as possible with as little pain as possible.  With our team of expert orthopaedic specialists, we are able to help athletes return back to the sports they love.

One injury that we see frequently at Triangle Orthopaedics is known as “Gamekeeper’s Thumb” or “Skier’s Thumb.”  This is a sprain or injury to the ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) of the metacarpophalangeal joint of the thumb.  This typically occurs in sports where the thumb is at risk of being injured through gripping sports implements or being exposed to injury.

A ligament stabilizes the bones within a joint.  With this type of sprain, an athlete may have issues throwing, gripping, or catching an object.

Treatment for Gamekeeper’s Thumb

With any athletic injury, certain guidelines should be followed post-injury for proper healing.  These guidelines include:

  • Follow the P.R.I.C.E. Principle- a first degree sprain should follow the acronym PRICE (Protection, Rest, Icing, Compression, Elevation).
  • Rest- this is typically a word that athletes do not enjoy hearing.  Resting the hand for a few days after injury can allow the healing process to start.  Taping the thumb may be an effective strategy to avoid reinjuring the thumb during the healing period.
  • Practice Range of Motion- when the swelling begins to subside, a soft ball can be used to regain some motion and strength in the hand.  Squeezing the ball allows for the hand to regain strength and range of motion.

If there is instability of the ligament, an athlete should schedule a consultation with Triangle Orthopaedics. During this appointment, your physician will be able to learn if surgery may be required to address any tearing.

Learn More about Triangle Orthopaedics

Our team of physicians is dedicated to offering unparalleled treatments and services that can best aid our patients.  We understand that athletes want to return to normal activities and competitions as quickly as possible.  This is why we use the latest treatments and technology—to help our athletes back on the field as quickly as possible.

To learn more about the Triangle Orthopaedics difference, please contact us today at 800-359-3053.  A sports injury does not have to be the end to a season—learn how we can help today.

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