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Splinting > Conditions
Hand, Wrist, Forearm & Elbow Conditions > Ulnar Collateral
Ligament Injury of the Thumb Hand Therapy
Ulnar Collateral Ligament Injury of the Thumb Hand Therapy
“Working with a knowledgeable hand therapist can make the difference between success and failure in complex hand surgical cases. The therapist extends the continuum of our care, as well as functioning as coach and trainer for our patients.”
Marybeth Ezaki, MD, Past President, American Society for Surgery of the Hand
In Phoenix Rehab, our senior hand therapists are experienced licensed and dedicated therapists (physiotherapists and/or occupational therapists) who specialized ONLY in the rehabilitation, treatment and management of painful fingers, hands, wrists, forearm & elbow conditions, because of interest, passion and expertise.
Our thumb's UCL, or ulnar collateral ligament, is located in the middle thumb joint, and provides support to the thumb during grip and pinch.
Unfortunately, our thumb's ulnar collateral ligament is also the most common ligament injury in the thumb. This injury is known as skier’s or goalkeeper’s thumb.
What causes a UCL injury in the thumb?
Most often, injuries occur during sport or recreational activities, such as
- rugby and
In fact...any extreme force to the thumb in the opposite direction can cause a sprain or strain, but injuries can also occur as a result of
- a fall,
- or jamming the thumb at a hard surface,
- or the thumb catching onto something that pulls the thumb in the opposite direction
What are the symptoms of a UCL injury in the thumb?
Pain and swelling in the middle joint of the thumb usually occur right after injury, with possible bruising and stiffness in the joint.
With this injury, activities such as holding a drinking glass or writing may be difficult.
Weakness may be a symptom as well, with a decreased ability to grip or pinch any object with the thumb and hand.
What is the treatment for a ulnar collateral ligament injury in the thumb?
The doctor will likely order an X-ray of the thumb to rule out a broken bone. The doctor will also test the stability of the thumb with gentle pressure from each side, and compare this to the uninjured thumb.
If there is a sprain to the UCL of the thumb, the physician may prescribe a custom thumb spica splint to rest the joint and ligament for a period of time.
That being said, if the ligament is torn or ruptured, the doctor may recommend surgery to repair the ligament.
What can a hand therapist do for me?
Our senior hand therapist can make a custom orthosis to rest the thumb ligament as it heals. While the ligament is healing, we will provide gentle exercises for the other joints of the hand. After the ligament has healed, the therapist will progress exercises to increase function and strength in your hand and thumb.
Custom orthosis to protect UCL injury to the thumb
Patients may also receive the following hand therapy treatment modalities:
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Phoenix Rehab physio Services
Phoenix Rehab Group works with specialist
physiotherapists and rehab therapists who are highly
trained, qualified, experienced and passionate to provide high level of
expert care to our patients.
PHYSIOTHERAPY & PHYSICAL THERAPY
HAND THERAPY & SPLINTING
Patients who sustained injuries to their elbows, forearms, hands, wrists
(sprains and fractures) and fingers, and requires Hand Therapy to increase the function of their hand
following injuries or post-operations as well as custom made hand splints.
Commonly treated hand pain injuries includes
CLINICAL PILATES & WELLNESS PILATES
Clinical Pilates is a form of physical exercise that focuses on
- core stability
- flexibility and
It is a system of safe and effective exercises, which
meet specific individual needs, to treat a wide range of injuries
You may do Pilates as matwork or with the reformer or both, and every session will be customized 100% to your fitness, injury and tolerance.
TRADITIONAL CHINESE MEDICINE (TCM)
DEEP TISSUE RELEASE & SPORTS MASSAGE THERAPY
Sports and deep tissue release massage helps to increase nutrient-rich blood
flow to tired, tight and tense muscles to
- accelerate recovery and
- shorten downtime / recovery period required
It also prevents
muscles from scar tissue micro-tears (and potential ruptures), and increases muscle
Done regularly, it will keeps your muscles healthy and fit with body/movement-confidence. Read the benefits of regular deep tissue release therapy here.
All our allied health therapists and TCM physicians are fully insured and registered with Allied Health Professions Council (AHPC) and Traditional Chinese Medicine Board (TCMB).
See our entire team here with introductions and their specializations.
At the first session, our specialist physiotherapists will carry out a thorough
assessment, helping them to select the most appropriate treatment to
help you recover as well as provide treatment in the same session.
Follow up sessions are inline to provide
expert treatment for your pain as well as prescribing specific
exercises to reduce your risk of re-injury and giving you a long term
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