Top 5 Rugby Union Injuries

Fracture Dislocation of the Thumb

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What is a Fracture Dislocation of the Thumb?

This injury was described by Dr Edward Bennett, who suffered a fracture dislocation of his thumb while horse riding in 1885, and is often referred to as a ‘Bennett's fracture’.

Anatomically it is a fracture of the joint surface between the thumb and the wrist and subsequent detachment of the deep ligaments, which normally stabilise the joint.

Because of the long term problems and functional instability that can occur, many orthopaedic consultants advocate surgical fixation to repair a Bennett's fracture dislocation of the thumb.

What can you do to prevent a Fracture Dislocation of the Thumb?

Not a great deal. Get your chartered physiotherapist to tape your thumb, but even then a fracture dislocation of the thumb may occur due to the collision nature of Rugby.

What should you do if you suffer a Fracture Dislocation of the Thumb?

This is a nasty injury, with potential long term functional impairment of hand function. All fracture dislocations of the thumb should be assessed by an orthopaedic consultant.

In the first few days following a fracture dislocation of the thumb it is important to follow the RICE protocol - rest, ice, compression and elevation (never apply ice directly to the skin). Ice packs for a period of twenty minutes every couple of hours may help with the pain but pain-relieving medication prescribed by a doctor may also be necessary.

Surgery is often required for this injury and the surgeon may immobilise the thumb in a plaster. Once this is removed, some form of protection for the joint is necessary during the rehab period. A Thumb Stabiliser is helpful to protect the joint between exercise sessions with a physio.

5 Fracture Dislocation of the Thu 2 Head Injuries 3 Ankle Sprain 5 Head and Spinal Injuries 1 Hamstring Strain 4 Acromio Clavicular Joint Sprain





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