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Top 5 Skiing & Snowboarding Injuries

Skier's Thumb

Select an injury location on the skier or snowboarder

What is a Skier's Thumb Injury?

The common upper limb injury in skiing is 'Skier's thumb', which accounts for around 10% of all skiing injuries. Skier's Thumb is usually caused during a fall when the ski pole is held in the hand, catches in the snow and acts as a lever against the inside of the base of the thumb. This overextends the thumb and causes damage to the Ulnar collateral ligament at the base of the thumb. Most often there is a sprain of the ligament, but sometimes there can be a complete rupture.

Skier's Thumb Explained

What can you do to prevent Skier's Thumb?

Unless you are in deep powder snow and fear losing your ski poles, it's best not to put your hands inside the ski pole loop when skiing, as this greatly increases the risk of sustaining a Skiers thumb sprain in the event of a fall.

Also, wearing a Thumb Stabiliser helps to protect the Ulnar collateral ligament, without limiting hand movement and function.

We recommend the Mueller Thumb Stabilser for the prevention of Skier's Thumb.

Thumb Stabilsers Explained

What should you do if you suffer a Skier's Thumb Injury?

In the immediate period following damage to the Ulnar collateral ligament of the thumb, ice packs and compression are the best treatments. Non Steroidal Anti Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) can be prescribed by a doctor to help relieve inflammation and pain.

Sprains tend to resolve in around four to six weeks and can be aided by physiotherapy treatment. Ultrasound can be effective in the early stages, then massage and mobilisation can aid ligament repair and help restore function. Thumb strength and dexterity can be improved by using hand therapy balls and therapeutic putty.

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