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With the crisp, frosty mornings and the cold, wet evenings well and truly upon us, I thought it would be timely to discuss some of the more common hand injuries.


Skier’s thumb is an injury to the ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) of the thumb. It is one of the most common hand injuries seen in footballers and netballers as well as skiers who are prone to this injury if they fall against a planted ski pole. It typically occurs when the thumb is forced back or pulled away from the palm when a person falls onto an outstretched hand, or attempts a tackle.

This can result in partial or complete tearing of the UCL. A person will typically present with pain, bruising and swelling around the base of the thumb and have difficulty with pinching tasks such as holding a key or tying shoelaces.

Medical management may involve Xrays to rule out bony damage. Most UCL injuries or partial tears are treated with a splint for several weeks and splinting or taping for return to sport. More severe injuries or complete tears may require surgery.

Did you know skier’s thumb was originally called gamekeeper’s thumb in 1955 due to the particular manner in which Scottish gamekeeper’s killed small animals!


The Proximal Interphalangeal (PIP) joint is the middle joint of the finger and is the most commonly injured. This can occur as a result of a sideways or backwards force to the finger while attempting to catch a ball.

This usually results in a painful, swollen finger, difficult bending or making a fist.

In most cases PIP sprains can be managed with Coban self adherent compression tape and buddy taping. More severe injuries may require surgery.

Keep those hands warm!!

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