UCL and RCL Rupture​

Injury to the ligaments that help stabilize the fingers.

UCL and RCL Rupture

Ulnar collateral and radial collateral ligament injuries in the fingers generally occur at the metacarpophalangeal (MCP) joints. These ligaments help to stabilize the fingers and most importantly the thumb at this joint. This injury can occur in any of the fingers when an overwhelming stress is placed in either the radial or ulnar direction at the joint, but it most commonly occurs in the thumb. Gamekeeper’s thumb occurs when the ulnar collateral ligament of the thumb is ruptured, allowing the thumb to deviate beyond its endpoint when stressed in a radial direction. This may or may not involve an avulsion of the bone, meaning a small fleck of bone pulled off with the ligament. Sometimes, a “Stener” lesion will occur in which the ligament becomes displaced above the adductor aponeurosis and will not heal without surgery. Treatment depends on the severity and location of the tear. Often widening may be seen at the location of the tear with stress view x-rays. An MRI is the most definitive way to determine the extent and location of the tear. If the ligament is in good position for healing the patient may start with conservative management which is strict immobilization for 4-6 weeks.

UCL and RCL Repair, UCL and RCL Rupture

Avulsion fracture of thumb UCL

Every Patient Matters

Every patient receives an in-depth consultation to devise a treatment plan that is right for their problem. Our specialists prefer non-operative and non-invasive treatments whenever possible, including physical therapy, medications, and/or injections. When we require surgery, we will then use minimally invasive surgical techniques to fix your problem, whether it is fixing a broken bone or repairing a tendon. Our goal is always to get you back to living your life normally as soon as possible.

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