infographic of hands showing how to break a tendon

How to Break Your Thumb Ligament

Updated Jul 20, 2020 at 12:20PM EDT by andcallmeshirley.

Added Jan 10, 2017 at 02:15PM EST by Don.

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How to Break Your Thumb Ligament is an infographic providing instructions on how to perform a tendonitis test, which falsely claims to provide instructions to break one's thumb ligament. The image was widely circulated online in early January 2017 when various Twitter users claimed to have broken their thumb by following the image's instructions.


On September 13th, 2015, a Mayo Clinic[1] infographic demonstrating how to perform a Finkelstein test for Quervain's tendonitis was posted on 9gag[2] with the title "If you are bored – How to break your thumb ligament."

Tendon. OMayo Foundation for Medical Education and Resesrch. All rights reserved.


The graphic remained relatively unknown until January 5th, 2017, when Twitter user @RahSenpai[4] posted screenshots of a text message conversation in which a young man named Jonathan breaks his thumb by following the infographic instructions (shown below). Within five days, the tweet gained over 217,000 likes and 118,000 retweets.

..coo T-Mobile令 7:02 PM 27% I-, Jonathan型 Like this And fling it forward hard asf It can't be at an angle Your wrist is turning and all the way down PH FUCK FUCK What? ..coo T-Mobile 7:02 PM 27%!-- Jonathan型 FUCK What ? Read 7:01 PM LMAOSJDUOWORKSIAKODNSI SKDOSMOSMDOWMSLD OMFGGG Delivered

That day, Twitter users @lfw_lm[6] and @Meli__10[7] replied to @Rah_Senpai with photographs of their crooked thumbs (shown below). Over the next 24 hours, other Twitter users posted similar photographs in tweets claiming to have broken their thumbs by following the instructions.

Luis Meza @lfw Im Follow @RahSenpai @yuridiaa_damn mee too RETWEETS LIKES 1,848 3,710 MUDA 10:13 PM-5 Jan 2017 わ60 1.8K 3.7K Mia @Meli-一10 Follow @RahSenpai looks like my hand had a seizure RETWEETS LIKES 11:19 PM -5 Jan 2017 わ7 254 ,665

On January 6th, 2017, the @Dory[5] Twitter feed reposted the screenshots. That day, BuzzFeed[8] published an article about the tweets. On January 9th, Redditor Ragingdark submitted the Finkelstein test graphic to /r/LearnUselessTalents[3] in a post titled "How to break your thumb ligament."

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Toasted Sandwich
Toasted Sandwich

"I was born with glass bones and paper skin. Every morning I break my legs and every afternoon I break my arms. At night I lie awake in agony until my heart attacks put me to sleep."


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