Conveniently located throughout Melbourne and Gippsland

No referral needed

If you have a little swelling in the knuckles or an inability to fully bend the fingers or fully straighten them, you’ve come to the right place.

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X-ray and Ultrasound 

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Thermoplastic water proof orthosis – Short opponens water proof orthosis for
6 – 8 weeks. AROM of all unaffected joints. Strengthening of he adductor policis


This is a common injury among footballers and skiers (hence the name!) but can affect lots of people in everyday movement.  The injury actually involves a fracture or ligament tear to the Ulnar Collateral Ligament (UCL) of the thumb metacarpal joint. It is also known is some literature as “Game keepers thumb” named after an injury common in Pheasant hunters in the 19th century.

It involves an injury to the ulnar collateral ligament (base of the thumb in the web space between thumb and index finger).  This ligament can tear partially or completely when forcefully pushed to the side by a ball or by the ski pole.

This injury results in a loss of stability of the thumb when pinching or gripping as well as pain, swelling and functional loss.

Hand and wrist injuries in sports | action rehab


Skier’s thumb is caused by a fracture, strain or tear in the ligament that supports the metacarpal joint of the thumb. It often occurs due to a sudden hyperextension (backwards) or radial deviation (sideways) force to the thumb.  There can sometimes be a small fracture of the metacarpal bone or more often just a tear to the ligament.  In rare cases there can be a “Stener Lesion” which is where the ligament tears and can get caught on retraction behind the adductor aponeurosis.  This rare occurrence is something that needs assessment from a Hand Therapist  so as to avoid complications further down the track.

It is common in football, basketball and netball but most often happens in skiing when the ski pole gets jammed against the thumb.

Call us on 1300 762 227 for an appointment, or schedule an appointment online by clicking the button below.


In assessing the “Skiers’s Thumb” injury your Hand Therapist, Physiotherapist or Occupational Therapist at Action Rehab will have a careful look at your ultrasound and x-ray and if you don’t already have an x-ray or ultrasound your therapist might refer you for one.  The Hand Therapist at Action Rehab will also physically examine the joint that is injured to assess the severity of the tear and loss of function.  Many times the mechanism of injury (how you hurt it) is very useful in diagnosing a Skier’s Thumb injury so the Hand Therapist at Action Rehab will be sure to always ask “how did this happen?”

De quervains tenosynovitis treatment | action rehab

Our Physiotherapists and Occupational Therapists have extensive knowledge and experience in assessing, diagnosing, treating, and managing your hand and upper extremity – your shoulder, elbow, wrist, and hand – injuries or conditions, so you know you’re in good hands.

The hand therapists at Action Rehab are experienced in the assessment and treatment of Skier’s Thumb. With a reputation endorsed by sporting organisations like the Melbourne Football Club, Action Rehab is the smart choice for treating your Skier’s Thumb.

Get on the road to recovery, so you can do the things you love.

View the video below to learn more about what causes skier’s thumb and how your Hand Therapist at Action Rehab protects the thumb and stops it from getting more inflamed. As explained by Action Rehab founder Ben Cunningham.

Play Video about Action Rehab - Skiers Thumb


The treatment of skier’s thumb differs depending on how badly the ligament is injured. In some cases, it is best to keep freedom in the joint to prevent unnecessary stiffness. But in most cases we use our custom made thermoplastic waterproof orthosis to immobilize the injury and allow between 2-8 weeks for it to heal.

We will tailor a home exercise plan, such as range of motion and strengthening exercises. This common sporting injury usually require a guard which we can fabricate (as appropriate) to facilitate an early and safe return to sport.

Action rehab - scaphoid fractures

Does Skier’s Thumb Require Surgery?

Generally no, Skier’s Thumb should not require surgery but if you have a Stener Lesion or a significant tear then surgery may be required.  The Hand Therapist, Physiotherapist or Occupational Therapist at Action Rehab are experienced in the assessment of Skier’s Thumb and if surgery is required can advise you on the best treatment path as soon as possible.

A delay in seeking hand therapy treatment may result in a more complicated recovery.

Fig 1: Basic Treatment

This basic off the shelf thumb splint immobilises the thumb tip as well as the wrist and allows a lot of movement at the site of the injury that may delay the recovery.

De quervains tenosynovitis treatment | action rehab

Fig 2: Action Rehab Treatment

This custom made, light, water resistant, thermoplastic splint made by your Hand Therapist at Action Rehab will allow full range of motion for your un affected joints while providing support and stability to the injured joint allowing it to heal.

Thumb spica | action rehab

To Book Call Us On 1300 762 227

Call us on 1300 762 227 for an appointment, or schedule an appointment online by clicking the button below.


Therapists at Action Rehab are experienced in the assessment and treatment of skier’s thumb.

Your Hand Therapist at Action Rehab will set you up with a splinting, stretching and stabilisation program to rehab your skier’s thumb.

It is important to see a Hand Therapist at Action Rehab for your skier’s thumb as soon as you can post injury.  Early assessment and treatment in a supporting splint will minimise complications and hopefully get you back to sport and function sooner. 

Known for providing treatment for skier’s thumb and other hand, wrist, elbow and shoulder injuries, Action Rehab are the hand therapists that Melbourne trusts.

To make an appointment, enquire, or find your closest location call us on 1300 762 227 or schedule an appointment online.

Thumb splinting | action rehab


Skier’s Thumb or damage to the Ulnar Collateral Ligament of the thumb is one of the most common thumb injuries.  It is especially common in Melbourne due to all the sports that are played including Basketball, AFL, Netball etc as well as Skiing of course.

Skier’s Thumb is caused by a forceful hyperextension (backwards) or radially deviated (sideways) force on the thumb.  This commonly happens when a ski pole or a ball forces it in that direction. 

It can take a long time to recover from Skier’s Thumb if it is not assessed and treated. It is really important to seek treatment early and not wait for the injury to become chronic.The sooner it is stabilised and splinted then the sooner it improves.

Generally, Skier’s Thumb does not require surgery however if there is a significant fracture, a Stener Lesion or a grade III ligament tear then surgery may be indicated.  The Hand Therapist at Action Rehab will be able to assess and advise when surgery is indicated.

Yes. It is very debilitating when your Skier’s Thumb does not heal.  Because your thumb is very functional, an injury to the ligament in the thumb can be debilitating and functionally limiting.  Early diagnosis and treatment is important.

No, if it is untreated it may deteriorate and may get worse so seek early assessment and treatment for your Skier’s Thumb from a Hand Therapist at Action Rehab.


Action Rehab provide assessment and treatment for all conditions relating to the upper limb, including skier’s thumb. Come and see our highly qualified and friendly staff today at a location convenient to you.