SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 1987

Carpometacarpal Dislocations of the Thumb in Skiing Injuries


Seven cases of carpometacarpal (CMC) dislocation of the thumb were followed up after being seen at the Sugarbush Ski Area Clinic and at other Vermont ski areas during the 1981 through 1982 and 1982 through 1983 seasons. No previous cases had been seen among 3171 ski injuries treated at the Sugarbush Clinic over the past ten years. All injured skiers reported jamming their thumb longitudinally into the snow with most retaining the ski pole in their palm. All cases were initially treated with reduction and immobilization in a thumb spica cast, usually for 3 to 5 weeks. Two cases required further immobilization with percutaneous Kirschner wires. None of the seven patients in our study required ligament reconstruction or repair, and all had either good or excellent results based on strength, stability, pain, and range of motion (ROM). Our study suggests that retention of the ski pole in the hand during a fall may play a significant role in dislocation of the CMC joint. Most cases can be treated with simple reduction and immobilization with good to excellent results.

Author Information

O'Connell, PW
University of Vermont College of Medicine, Burlington, VT
Johnson, RJ
University of Vermont College of Medicine, Burlington, VT
Mogan, JV
University of Vermont College of Medicine, Burlington, VT
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Developed by Committee: F27
Pages: 299–306
DOI: 10.1520/STP23197S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-5003-4
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-0936-0