Gamekeeper’s Thumb (Skier’s Thumb)

Overview

The thumb joint known as the metacarpophalangeal (MCP) assists with pinching and bending the thumb. A crucial component to its stability is the ulnar collateral ligament.

This ligament when torn can lead to pain and instability of the joint contributing to loss of motion of the thumb. In general, a MRI is utilized to determine the extent of the tear and the need for surgery.

Dr. Anup Patel Advantage

Dr. Anup Patel has treated many of these injuries including in professional athletes. He uses a technique that reconstructs the native ulnar collateral ligament supplemented with suture tape (Arthrex InternalBrace) to reinforce and strengthen the repair. This enables early range of motion and return to activity quickly.

Gamekeeper's Thumb

Symptoms

  • Instability of the thumb at the MP joint radial deviation
  • Pain of the thumb at the MP joint

Causes

  • Trauma

Treatments

Non-Surgical

  • Immobilization for 4-6 weeks

Treatments

Surgical

  • Primary repair with anchor and/or Arthrex Internal Brace
  • Reconstruction with tendon graft with anchor and/or Arthrex Internal Brace

Patient Examples

Patient 1

18 year old baseball player recruited for Division 1 baseball tears ulnar collateral ligament leading to instability of the thumb joint. Arthrex InternalBrace was used and patient show with full range of motion without any pain at 4 weeks. The patient returns to baseball at 8 weeks with his first bat leading to a home run.

Patient 2

40 year old bicyclist sustains ulnar collateral ligament tear from falling off bicycle. Arthrex InternalBrace was used and patient show with full range of motion without any pain at 6 weeks and returned to cycling.

Patient 3

16 year old basketball player being recruited at the college level sustains a radial collateral ligament tear from an auto-accident. Patient comes as a second opinion. Arthrex InternalBrace was used and patient show with full range of motion without any pain at 6 weeks and returned to basketball.

Patient 4

29 year old involved with auto accident tearing the ulnar collateral ligament leading to instability of the thumb joint. Arthrex InternalBrace was used and patient show with full range of motion without any pain at 4 weeks.

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Dr. Anup Patel

Dr. Anup Patel is a board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon trained in aesthetic, hand/upper extremity and reconstructive surgery. He completed his plastic and reconstructive surgery training at the premier Yale University followed by a hand and microsurgery fellowship at the New York University Institute of Reconstructive Plastic Surgery and Mount Sinai Department of Orthopedics. Dr. Patel received his MD and MBA from the Yale University School of Medicine and Yale University School of Management, respectively. He graduated as the valedictorian of his class at the University of Florida majoring in economics, biochemistry and molecular genetics and valedictorian of his high-school class at Lake Highland.

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