If you hurt your thumb in a fall and the pain and instability persist, you should suspect that you might have sustained this injury. Clinical examination of the thumb by a medical practitioner would look at swelling, bruising, pain and instability during function. Prompt referral to a hand surgeon is important to ensure an optimum outcome. Get yourself a referral for peace of mind.
Many British skiers sustain this injury on the slopes of Europe, assume it is “just a sprain” and ignore it. It is common for these people to present for treatment quite late. The sooner you seek help, the quicker and easier the resolution. Most skier’s thumbs are partial ligament injuries which can be treated by immobilising the base of the thumb for six weeks using individually fabricated casts or splints. If the injury is a complete injury (a full rupture of the ligament) then these commonly require surgery particularly if there is a Stener lesion (interposition of adductor aponeurosis). This is where a muscle attachment gets trapped in the gap and prevents healing. In some injuries a bony fragment is pulled off the thumb base and if displaced these require surgical fixation.