The Motorcyclist’s Thumb

Author: Yasmin Sultan / Editor: Adrian Boyle / Reviewer: Eugene Henry, Tadgh Moriarty / Codes: A6 / Published: 05/11/2022

A 45-year-old man attends the Emergency Department (ED) 3 days after a motorbike accident. He reports losing control of the bike at 70mph and skidding along the ground while clinging to the handlebars with his right hand.

Since then his right thumb has been swollen and painful. He is finding it impossible to grip objects (e.g. a pen) between his thumb and finger. Following a detailed examination, no other injuries are elicited except for that sustained by his right thumb. There is tenderness along the ulnar border of the first metacarpophalangeal joint (MCPJ).

An X-ray has been performed. No fracture is seen.

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