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Date of last update: 10/01/2017.

Forum Name: Bone trauma and fractures

Question: Gamekeeper's Fracture, hurts after months, surgery?

 fizban - Tue Mar 31, 2009 5:08 pm

I was injured in a bicycle accident in May of last year. I did not have money for the ER, so I waited hoping it would get better. I was out of the country during the summer for study abroad and it did improve some but very slowly. When I returned in August, I was diagnosed with a Gamekeeper's Fracture, although the physician suggested it would probably heal alright. He tested my movement and said it shouldn't be impaired. He suggested I return if pain was still present in a couple months, to discuss possible surgery.
Unfortunately, my insurance ran completely out in a couple months, and pain was still present. Encouraged by the seemingly good news, I continued to wait for the pain to go away. It is now 5 months since my diagnosis, and my thumb is bothering me quite a bit. Not only the fracture hurts, but the muscles around it. It affects my life greatly, as I am a semi-professional guitar player.
Is surgery still an option? Can my thumb be repaired this late? Is there any hope of ever getting this fixed, if I manage to acquire insurance within a month or two? Is there anything I should do that would help until I can get seen by a professional again?

Thank you very, very much for your time. I am in a state of total despair over this.
 Tom Plamondon PA-C - Sat Apr 04, 2009 9:36 pm

User avatar Hello,
Gamekeepers fracture is due to strained or torn ulnar collateral ligament of the MCP joint of the thumb. With splinting, this usually heals over 4-6 weeks. However, chronic gamekeepers thumb can cause an unstable joint which leads to chronic pain and poor healing. Sometimes the joint is fused to stabilize the joint.
Unfortunately, the thumb probably wasn't stabilized initially and has not healed. It would be helpful to see an orthopedist to see if a cast or splint for 6-8 weeks would allow healing or if the joint needs to be fused.
Let us know how it goes or if you have any further questions.

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