Skip to content
    Font Size

    Skier's Thumb

    When to Seek Medical Care continued...

    If you determine that skier's thumb is possible, considering the way your accident happened, then you should be taken by car to a hospital's emergency department. There is no need to go by ambulance unless that is your only means of transportation or there is another more serious injury associated with the accident.

    An alternative to the emergency department would be an office visit to an orthopedic surgeon (bone specialist) or hand surgeon's clinic. If an orthopedic surgeon is available to see you on the day of your injury, it is more efficient to go see the surgeon directly instead of from the emergency department's referral.

    Exams and Tests

    The physician will first make sure you have no other limb-threatening injuries and then evaluate your thumb in more detail.

    The doctor will ask you how the injury happened. Be prepared to answer these questions:

    • At what time did your injury take place?
    • What was the exact positioning of your hand and thumb during the injury?
    • How soon after the injury did the pain and swelling begin?
    • Did it feel as if your thumb was stressed beyond its normal range of motion?

    The doctor will also ask about your past medical history. Be prepared to answer these questions:

    • Have you ever suffered from a similar injury before?
    • Have you ever had any type of surgery in your hand or wrist?
    • Are you allergic to any pain medications?
    • Have you ever fractured any bones in your wrist or hand?
    • Are you right-handed or left-handed?
    • What is your primary occupation?

    The doctor will then perform a physical examination and include the following tests:

    • A comparison of the movement of the injured thumb with that of the uninjured thumb looking for looseness of the ligament
    • An assessment of how well the major nerves in your hand function
    • A check for fractures, including an X-ray of your hand to make sure no bones are broken
    • An examination of the rest of your arm for any associated injuries to your wrist, forearm, elbow, and shoulder

    Hot Topics

    WebMD Video: Now Playing

    Click here to wach video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

    Which sex is the worst about washing up? Why is it so important? We’ve got the dirty truth on how and when to wash your hands.

    Click here to watch video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

    Popular Slideshows & Tools on WebMD

    disciplining a boy
    Types, symptoms, causes.
    fruit drinks
    Eat these to think better.
    embarrassed woman
    Do you feel guilty after eating?
    diabetes supply kit
    Pack and prepare.
    Balding man in mirror
    Treatments & solutions.
    birth control pills
    Which kind is right for you?
    Remember your finger
    Are you getting more forgetful?
    sticky notes on face
    10 tips to clear your brain fog.
    Close up of eye
    12 reasons you're distracted.
    Trainer demonstrating exercise for RA
    Exercises for your joints.
    apple slices with peanut butter
    What goes best with workouts?
    Pink badge on woman chest to support breat cancer
    Myths and facts.

    Pollen counts, treatment tips, and more.

    It's nothing to sneeze at.

    Loading ...

    Sending your email...

    This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.


    Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

    Women's Health Newsletter

    Find out what women really need.