Gamekeeper thumb

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[edit] Discussion of Gamekeeper thumb

  • Gamekeeper thumb consists of an acute or chronic injury to the ulnar collateral ligament of the thumb metacarpophalangeal joint.
  • It was first observed in Scottish gamekeepers, who suffered repeated stress injury to the ulnar collateral ligament of their thumb metacarpophalangeal joints because they used their thumbs as a focal point to snap the neck of a rabbit.
  • The injury can be seen in skiers (skier pole injury, skier thumb) or in break-dancers (break-dancer thumb).
  • Along with injury to the ulnar collateral ligament, a small chip of bone can be avulsed off the proximal phalanx of the thumb.
  • Treatment of complete but nondislocated rupture is conservative management.


  • A related injury is the Stener lesion, in which there is a complete rupture of the ulnar collateral ligament, with the ligament becoming folded over and displaced superficially to the adductor pollicis aponeurosis.
    • Ligament healing is hampered by the interposition of the adductor pollicis muscle between the proximal and distal stumps. Therefore, the generally accepted treatment is rapid surgical repair.
    • If not properly recognized and treated, the Stener lesion leads to permanent instability of the MCP joint, requiring secondary plastic surgery of the ligament.

[edit] Imaging Findings for Gamekeeper thumb

[edit] Images

Patient #1

[edit] See Also

[edit] External Links

Goldminer: Gamekeeper thumb

[edit] References for Gamekeeper thumb