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What causes skier's thumb?

Rachel Rohde, MD
Orthopedic Surgery

Ligaments connect bones to each other across a joint; injury to a ligament often is called a “sprain.”  The joint between the thumb and the hand in what we call the first web space is a frequently injured joint. When the thumb is “jammed” into a person, object, or the ground, the ulnar collateral ligament can be torn. This is called “gamekeeper’s thumb.”  It also is called “skier’s thumb” after the skier who injures this ligament while holding a pole. The radial collateral ligament (on the other side of this joint) also can be torn.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.