Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Skiing With My Hands.

Since it is still a bit early in the year to do any significant dry stone walling, my hands took up miniature cross-country skiing today to get in some exercise before all the snow completely melts here in our part of southern Ontario. The weather was brisk, but the snow was too sticky and the trails were barely there. I decided to go home and Google whether conditions would be better tomorrow and found this bit of sobering information, which has caused me to put my skis away for the season.

Skier's thumb describes an injury of the soft tissue that connects the bones of your thumb together. In medical terms, this soft tissue is called a ligament. This injury was originally noted in 1955 as a chronic ligament problem seen in Scottish gamekeepers who damaged their thumbs by repeatedly twisting the necks of hares. The injury was termed the gamekeeper's thumb at that time. The popularity of recreational downhill skiing has caused this injury to become much more common in the United States and has caused the term gamekeeper's thumb to be replaced with the more contemporary term, skier's thumb.

Skier’s thumb now accounts for a significant number of skiing injuries. In severe cases, with complete tearing of the ligament, this injury must be surgically repaired. The ultimate stability of the ligament is important because of its contribution to the grasping function of the thumb. People with skier’s thumb may be able to return to work and even skiing in a short period with proper rehabilitation.

Note to self : Walling with my hands is probably safer than skiing with them.

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