Case Study: Rcl Tear of the Thumb

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Radial Collateral Ligament Tear: A Case Study Objective: Injury to the collateral ligaments of the thumb’s metacarpophalangeal joint can be quite common in certain sports. The most commonly injured ligament around the joint is the ulnar collateral ligament (UCL); this injury is called gamekeeper’s thumb or skier’s thumb. Injury to the UCL can be seen most often in football, basketball, and skiing. Although the UCL is the stronger of the two ligaments it is the more commonly injured compared to the radial collateral ligament (RCL) (Bracker). Forcefully adducting or twisting a flexed joint can injure the RCL. RCL injuries are very rare so there is limited data on this topic. This case study is worthy of a study because of the rarity of this injury. We kept up with his injury and rehab for the duration of his healing. The objective of this case study is to learn more about RCL injuries and describe the recovery process of an athlete with this injury and returns to play. Anatomy: The thumb is the most unique of all the fingers. It contains only two bones in it called phalanges. Despite having one less phalange, the thumb has the most mobility and range of motion. There are three joints of the thumb carpometacarpal, interphalangeal, and metacarpophalangeal. The CMC and the IP joints allow for thumb mobility while the MCP joint provides stability (Clin). Ligaments and tendons connect these joints. At the MCP joint there are two major ligaments on either side of it, the radial collateral ligament and the ulnar collateral ligament. In anatomical position the RCL is on the lateral side of the thumb while the UCL is on the medial side of the thumb. Background: An 18 year old male basketball player injured his right thumb in a game on January 10th, 2013. Athlete has no prior thumb injuries. Athletic trainers were on scene and helped the athlete assessing his injury on

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