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October 28, 2007

How Much is a Season Worth - Skiers Thumb

This article on e-Medicine contains the standard treatment program for Skiers Thumb, or a Ulnar Collateral Ligament tear. Mine is a tear with a fracture meaning they have to do surgery and the cast will remain on longer.

In addition to the 6-8 weeks of immobilization with casting or splinting, the patient should avoid activities that risk reinjury for approximately another 6 weeks. An orthosis can be fitted to protect the patient's thumb to prevent further delay in return to activity.

When properly treated, patients with a UCL injury have a good prognosis for returning to their premorbid level of functioning. A missed diagnosis that delays the repair of a complete UCL rupture leads to a less favorable prognosis.

I have already waited a month to get the surgery. That is strike one. I ski and don't plan to quit which increases the chance of future injury. Stike two. So now, I basically have to write off the next 12-14 weeks of skiing. That is November, December and all of January.

I have a hand surgery consult on Tuesday and assume they will do surgery almost immediately. If they don't do surgery right away or if the injury does not heal well, this is the end of my season before it even got started.

Needless to say, I am beyond bummed. The condo is FINALLY done. Everything is finished except for a tiny piece of trim around the ladder. This was the year I could completely enjoy the place. I am not offering my little sob story here, but it sucks nonetheless.

So here are my choices:

  • Blow off surgery for now and hope it heals. This is probably the worst thing I can do because I type for a living at my computer, love to blog, and am active. This just weakens the joint and is not really an option.
  • Get surgery and try to come back early. Again, increases the risk of reinjury.
  • Take a season off, relax, and get ready for next year.

I am going to have surgery and wear the cast for the early season until December. Then get a good hard splint and tape the living heck out of it. And see where that gets me. I have to play it by ear, but am hoping to be back in January.

Anyone out there had a UCL injury? Had surgery? Had an Avulsion Fracture? Lemme know what to expect.

Posted by Justin at October 28, 2007 01:15 PM