Melanie Ellis

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Skier's Thumb Tendon Repair

"I was skiing at Alyeska with my partner and it was complete whiteout conditions; people were getting vertigo, but it was not enough to make us stop skiing, of course. I went to turn, didn't realize I was already moving, and when I fell, I fell backwards onto my thumb. The thumb actually went down to the wrist, which snapped the tendons in the thumb and moved the thumb off its joint.

I handed by poles to my partner and pushed my thumb up against the rest of my fingers, shoved my hand back in my glove and we skied back down to the bottom of the mountain. I didn't know how bad it was. My thumb swelled up to the size of a tennis ball and after we got home, the bruising started. The next morning, I went to the Emergency Room and saw a doctor there who looked at it and said, 'oh yeah, you have skier's thumb.' She suggested I see Dr. Manion and faxed my records over to him.

Coming to OPA was almost like visiting a spa. The receptionists at the front desk were great, explained everything and gave me the little light-up thing. I did not even have time to start drinking my coffee before I went back into the exam room.

Dr. Manion was great. He took a look at it and he knew right away. He explained to me exactly what had happened, what the surgery would do, what I could expect after the surgery. He was able to do surgery that week and just did a spectacular job anchoring the thumb back onto the joint. I have full movement with my thumb. I healed up remarkably fast and had very little irritation after surgery. I was so impressed by it. I have almost no scar; I have a very thin white line where the scar was. He also set me up with an excellent physical therapist who has been great.”