Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Sprained Thumb Evaluation

The evaluation of skier's thumb begins with a history and physical examination.

Physical findings in someone with skier's thumb may include:

  • Bruising at the base of the thumb
  • Stretched or torn ulnar collateral ligament:
    • The joint between the thumb and hand bends abnormally during examination
  • Swelling at the base of the thumb
  • Tenderness at the base of the thumb

Tests are not necessary to make the diagnosis of skier's thumb. X-rays may be required to exclude a thumb fracture.

Tests that may be used to evaluate skier's thumb include:

Continue to Sprained Thumb Treatment

Last Updated: Sep 4, 2008 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Sprained Thumb References
  1. Harper MT, Chandnani VP, Spaeth J, Santangelo JR, Providence BC, Bagg MA. Gamekeeper thumb: diagnosis of ulnar collateral ligament injury using magnetic resonance imaging, magnetic resonance arthrography and stress radiography. J Magn Reson Imaging. 1996 Mar-Apr;6(2):322-8. [9132097]
  2. Plancher KD, Ho CP, Cofield SS, Viola R, Hawkins RJ. Role of MR imaging in the management of "skier's thumb" injuries. Magn Reson Imaging Clin N Am. 1999 Feb;7(1):73-84, viii. [10067224]
  3. Zeman C, Hunter RE, Freeman JR, Purnell ML, Mastrangelo J. Acute skier's thumb repaired with a proximal phalanx suture anchor. Am J Sports Med. 1998 Sep-Oct;26(5):644-50. [9784810]
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