Skier’s Thumb

Picture of procedure in operation room to treat Skier’s Thumb, Stener lesion.

Skier’s Thumb—also commonly called Gamekeeper’s Thumb (or even Breakdancer’s Thumb)—occurs when the strong band of ligamentous tissue that supports the joint where the thumb meets the palm nearest to the index finger is torn by breaking a fall with the thumb, levering away from the index finger (as when holding a ski pole). Sometimes there is a fracture which occurs as the ligament is stretched pulling away with a bone fragment attached, occurring generally from the phalanx.

Normally icing, elevation and splinting lead to recovery, but in cases where the ligament tears completely or becomes trapped by an adjacent tendon, surgery may be necessary.

Reverse Skier’s Thumb is a disabling injury, in which the very important ligament on the other side of the joint is torn. The same treatment as above is used here.

Learn more about ligament injuries of the hand.