A Sprained Thumb is often referred to as Skier’s Thumb, due to the prevalence of this injury during skiing. It is a common cause of thumb pain. Skier’s Thumb refers to damage to the Ulnar Collateral Ligament at the base of the thumb. It is important to note that this injury is not exclusive to skiers and can occur to anyone where there is sufficient force applied to the thumb that takes it in a direction furthest away from the hand.
In severe Sprained Thumb injuries there is often immediate thumb swelling and bruising may develop in a few days. In more chronic cases of Sprained Thumb that have not been diagnosed early, then there may be a persistent thickening of the joint with chronic thumb swelling. The joint between the metacarpal (long bone) and thumb bone will feel lax and unstable.
The ability to pinch grip small objects between the thumb and the index finger is often severely impaired because of the resultant instability in the MCP joint. The Ulnar Collateral ligament of the thumb may be partially or completely torn. One of our physiotherapists will apply various tests and movements to help determine the extent of your thumb sprain and the stability of the joint.
Diagnosis is made by physical examination by our Physios. During the immediate period following damage to the Ulnar Collateral Ligament of the thumb, cold therapy applied by Physiotherapists is the best treatments. With a Physio rehab programme, sprains tend to resolve in around four to six weeks.
For complete ruptures of the ligament early referral onto an Orthopaedic Surgeon is required.
Friction and mobilisation work can be commenced early in the rehabilitation. Mobility of the Thumb, strength and dexterity can be improved by using hand therapy balls and therapeutic putty. Your Physiotherapist will advise you on the most appropriate rehab tools and when it is safe to return to full hand function.
Our Physiotherapists have a great deal of specific clinical experience in the management of thumb sprains.
Initially, our chartered physiotherapists will carry out a thorough assessment to determine the grade of your sprain, helping them to select the most appropriate treatment to help you recover.
Our physiotherapists are highly trained and qualified to provide expert care to our patients. They are fully insured and are chartered by the Irish Society of Chartered Physiotherapists (ISCP).
We have a team of Clinical leads who visits our physios and clinics to ensure a level of customer service and quality care that exceeds our competition is given to patients every time.