There may be several ways a cyclist is like a skier, but for me it is because I have what is called Skier’s Thumb. It used to be called Gamekeeper’s Thumb because it was primarily suffered by gamekeeper’s who repetitively wrung the necks of hares. I think I prefer the skier reference.
What is it? Skier’s Thumb is actually pretty broad. It involves any damage to the soft tissue between the thumb and the rest of the hand. In some cases it is the spraining of the ligaments, but is more severe cases it ranges from a tearing of the ligament to an actual separation from the bone.
In my case, there is a small portion of the bone of my thumb — the portion my ligament happens to be connected to — that has broken off from the thumb. This means the ligament is pretty much useless. I can tell this because I can’t pick up anything with any weight. Also, if I pick up something light and then try to manipulate it, I can’t. It pops right out of my hand.
So, this morning at 9:15 I’ll be going into the hospital as an outpatient. They’ll do all their prep work and by 11:15 I’ll be ready have my thumb cut open. Don’t worry, I’m not taking pictures this time. The doc will put a small plate called a suture anchor in there that will help hold the bone and ligament in place and within 30 minutes I’ll done.
They won’t put me under for the procedure. Actually, they are going numb half my arm. It is the Bier Block. It is pretty cool. They will put a device like a blood pressure band around my left arm. However, instead of letting off on the pressure, they will keep it engaged. This will “trap” the medicine in the arm and only half my arm will go numb.
The advantage to this is that once the operation is done, they can release the pressure and the medicine will then dissipate through the rest of my body and I’ll have use of my arm much faster than if they were to do a full regional nerve block on my arm.
I’m sure I’ll come out of there with some sort of cast. My guess is that it will be a removable one. John James told me to make sure that they molded it so that it would fit properly over the hood on my left handlebar. I’m not too worried about that right now.
I have a good feeling about the future use of the thumb. The doc said that we could attempt to heal it with immobilization, but that gave me a 70% chance of success. With the surgery, he gives me 95%. I guess I’m thinking positively. I think with the good work of Dr. Brown and proper physical therapy following, I’ll have my thumb issues straightened out before my neck brace comes off.
I’ll let you know how it goes!
Oh, if you haven’t gone by CrankListed.com and voted for LowCadence.com, be sure to do it this weekend. Voting for the best blogs in each category ends on the 6th. It was an honor just to be nominated. Who knows if the blog might get the most votes.