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Finger Injuries in Sport Climbing
02 March 2017 (online)
Introduction: Sport climbing is an increasingly popular sport. With more indoor climbing facilities, the incidence of climbing-related injuries is rising, especially in non-alpine areas. A total of 40% of these injuries are to the finger. We demonstrate lesions to the finger that were seen in a network for rock climbing medicine.
Materials and Methods: Overall, 226 finger injuries were seen between May 2012 and June 2016. Clinical examination was followed by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). A four-step grading system was used to evaluate lesions of the flexor-tendon-pulley system.
Results: Depending on the training, dilation and thickening of the joint capsule was found. Fractures were evident in 19 cases (stress fracture: 2, growth plate fracture: 17). Six lesions of the joint capsule were found. Lesions of the flexor tendon were seen in 39 cases. One calcified stenosis of the A2 pulley was detected. Lesions of the pulley system occurred in 162 cases (I: 22, II: 103, III: 46, IV: 1).
Conclusion: Knowledge of the anatomy and the biomechanics of climbing can distinguish true injuries. MRI is sensitive in detecting and grading lesions of the flexor-tendon-pulley system. Grade II lesions are the most common and of high sport physiologic relevance. MRI also identifies complex lesions that may require surgical repair.