Gamekeeper’s Thumb

gamekeeper’s thumb

This patient presented with painful thumb after an unaccustomed stint as a soccer goalkeeper. The plain film above shows an avulsion fracture of the ulnar side of the base of the 1st proximal phalanx.

Gamekeeper’s thumb (skier’s thumb, ulnar collateral ligament tear) is due to forceful abduction of the thumb. It is a common sporting injury. MR imaging may be helpful to demontrate the extent of tear. The “Stener lesion” is where the ulnar collateral ligament is displaced superficial to the adductor pollicis aponeurosis. This may require operative repair.

The term gamekeeper’s thumb is thought to be due to the tear being acquired by repetitive breaking of rabbits necks.

Credit: Dr Laughlin Dawes