Ulnar Collateral Ligament Injury – Skier’s Thumb

Skier’s Thumb (aka gamer’s thumb, texting thumb, etc.) is an injury to the ulnar collateral ligament of the thumb metacarpophalangeal (MCP) joint that results in disabling chronic instability if not properly treated. Skier’s thumb occurs when you fall on an outstretched hand or use your hand to brace a fall that results in excessive force placed on your thumb while the thumb is in an extreme position. While this injury is common in skier’s, in can occur in other fall accidents such as slipping on ice, playing sports, motor vehicle accidents or other injuries that cause the thumb to be abnormally bent backward. **Various forms of imaging may be requested to properly assess the severity of the injury**


  • Pain, swelling, bruising, or redness in the thumb
  • Weakness or inability to pinch or grasp objects with thumb and index finger
  • Pain in wrist (referred pain from the thumb)

Treatment Options

  • Rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE)
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as Aleve or Ibuprofen
  • Prescription pain medication
  • Bracing or Splinting
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Surgery (if the injury is severe that includes a tear or if conservative treatment options are not effective)

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