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Skier's thumb. Surgical treatment of recent injuries to the ulnar collateral ligament of the thumb's metacarpophalangeal joint.

Acute rupture of the ulnar collateral ligament of the metacarpophalangeal (MCP) joint of the thumb is often sustained in downhill skiing accidents an is hence called "skier's thumb." All complete ruptures seen at our hospital between 1975 and 1979 were operated using the "fishhook" pullout wire technique. Follow-up results 29 months after early operation are presented for 47 cases. The overall results are excellent in 29, good in 14, and fair in 3 patients. Our result had to be considered a failure. No patient had serious functional impairment or major constant pain. No patient took any pain medication. No reintervention was necessary. The distal bony avulsions showed the most favorable prognosis, and the ligamentous midsubstance tears, the least favorable. The fishhook pullout wire technique can be used in both ligamentous and bony avulsions of the ulnar collateral ligament and provides good or excellent results in 90% of the cases.

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