Thumb MCP Joint Ligament Surgery

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Evolution of Thumb MCP Joint Ligament Surgery

Surgical treatment of Gamekeeper’s/ Skier’s thumb involves repair or replacement of the injured UCL ligament in the thumb MCP joint. If the tear is recent and the tissue allows, the ligament can be stitched back together. Often, a small anchor is placed into the bone to help secure the repaired ligament. If the tear is older and/ or the tissue is not of good quality at surgery, it may be necessary to reconstruct (make a new UCL) rather than repair the native ligament. A tendon from elsewhere in the hand or wrist can be borrowed and anchored into the bones above and below to create a new UCL that will help keep the MCP joint stable. Good outcomes after surgery depend on the repaired or reconstructed ligament staying intact and healing back to the bone. Suture anchors help with healing to the bone. For strength of the UCL after surgery, surgeons looked at ways to strengthen the tissue and this led to a new technique involving the addition of a strong suture material to the UCL to make it more resistant to failure.

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