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Gamekeeper’s Thumb?

Posted on Tuesday, April 21, 2009 in random science

I knew about tennis elbow, but had never heard of gamekeeper’s thumb. I mean how many gamekeepers are there these days that they warrant having a condition named after them? I assumed it has something to do with getting your thumb caught in the gate latch or bit by an elk. But forever in pursuit of knowledge, I looked it up. Actually the “condition was most commonly associated with Scottish gamekeepers, especially rabbit keepers, in whom the injury was work related. The injury occurred as the men sacrificed game such as rabbits; the animals’ necks were broken between the ground and the gamekeeper’s thumb and index fingers.” (source) I also read that it’s very similar to skier’s thumb. Such an obvious connection once you think about it, I’m sure.

I discovered that tennis elbow is now called lateral epicondylitis by people who can pronounce that last word.

Other injuries I found named after a sport are skier’s thumb, jumper’s knee, swimmer’s shoulder, Little League elbow, and female athlete triad. The last one is not really an injury, but rather a collection of disordered eating, amenorrhea, and osteoporosis associated with female athletes.

I’ve also heard of runner’s knee, which is really Iliotibial Band Syndrome and really hard to find a rhyme for.

Trigger finger seems to be a more common ailment for knitters, gardeners, and cello players than it is for gun owners.

Shouldn’t there be a dancer’s toe pentad for bunions, ingrown toenails, sesamoiditis, and general ugliness? And maybe rodeo rider’s groin?

I eventually found reference to millipeders’ back and birders’ neck. I’m probably more likely to get one of those. Or gamer’s fingers. Playing video games and coloring at too young an age will deform your fingers says Mike Tomich who has a Web site that somewhat resembles malformed fingers:

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