Skier's (gamekeeper's) thumb

Return to the slopes just in time

Usually, complete tears of the ulnar collateral ligament require surgical repair and can fail to heal, even with splinting.


Simple low-grade injuries to the ligament can be treated with an episode of splinting followed by rehabilitation supervised by a hand therapist.

Conservative treatment methods

  • Rehabilitation

Acute repair

An acute repair involves surgical re-attachment of the ligament back to the bone using bone sutures.

Reconstruction of the ligament

Reconstruction of the ligament may be required for a delayed or late repair. New ligaments are often reconstructed using another tendon (graft) from the wrist which occasionally require a temporary wire to help stabilise the joint.

Surgical treatment methods

  • Acute repair
  • Reconstruction of the ligament