Thumb Sprain Treatment
Treatment for skier's thumb includes a thumb splint or cast, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications for pain. Surgery may be required to treat skier's thumb if the ligament is torn completely.
Specific treatment for skier's thumb includes:
- Cold compresses:
- Apply for 20 minutes at a time, 2 to 3 times per day
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications for pain
- Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil, Ibuprin, Nuprin)
- Naproxen (Aleve, Anaprox, Naprosyn)
- Ketoprofen (Oruvail, Orudis, Actron)
- Narcotic pain medication:
- For moderate to severe pain
- For short term use only
- Splint or cast for skier's thumb
- Surgery for skier's thumb (gamekeeper's thumb):
- To repair a completely torn ligament
- Physical therapy for skier's thumb
Thumb Sprain Questions For Doctor
The following are some important questions to ask before and after the treatment of skier's thumb.
Questions to ask before treatment:
- What are my treatment options?
- Will I need surgery?
- What are the risks associated with treatment?
- What are the complications I should watch for?
- How long will I be on medication?
- What are the potential side effects of my medication?
- Does my medication interact with nonprescription medicines or supplements?
- Should I take my medication with food?
Questions to ask after treatment:
- Are there any medications or supplements I should avoid?
- When can I resume my normal activities?
- When can I return to work?
- Will I need physical therapy?
- Will I need occupational therapy?
- What else can I do to reduce my risk for having skier's thumb again?
- How often will I need to see my doctor for checkups?
- What local support and other resources are available?
Thumb Sprain Specialist
Continue to Thumb Sprain Home Care
- 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. 
- 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. 
- 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.