It is essentially synonymous with skier's thumb , although the latter has more of an acute injury connotation. The repetitive breaking-of-necks of small game rabbits and such resulted in chronic injury to the ulnar collateral ligament of the metacarpophalangeal joint of the thumb with weakening and eventual tear. Gamekeeping and poaching have largely fallen by the wayside as a recreational activity. In gamekeepers, perhaps an unusually thick-necked rabbit was the cause? The aim of imaging is to identify a fracture; determine if there is instability joint space widening and identify a Stener lesion. A classification into six types has been proposed by Hintermann et al.
This movement pattern and force cause stress to the UCL. Originally, the term was in relation to when Gamekeepers would break the neck of game such as rabbits and chickens. Overtime, the stress would cause injury to the UCL. In later years similar injuries were common in skiers due to the force of the pole between the thumb and index finger during a fall. Instability may be noted during functional activities that require grasping. An avulsion fracture occurs when the force causes the tendon to tear and pull a small piece of bone with it. A stener lesion occurs when fibers of the UCL interpose the adductor pollicis muscle and aponeurosis.
Skier's thumb, also known as Gamekeeper's thumb, is an injury to the ulnar collateral ligament UCL , which is located in the metacarpophalangeal MCP joint where the thumb meets the hand. The purpose of the UCL is to keep the thumb stable in order to pinch objects. An injury to the UCL can be painful and result in a loss of function and pinch strength. Most often, these injuries are caused by accidents or falls. Skier's thumb got its name because this injury frequently happens during skiing accidents during which a person falls and doesn't let go of the ski pole.
Injury to the ulnar collateral ligament of the thumb is fairly common. This strong band of tissue is attached to the middle joint of the thumb, the joint next to the web space of the thumb. This condition is sometimes called gamekeeper's thumb because Scottish gamekeepers commonly injured their thumbs as a result of their job.