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J Hand Surg Am. 2006 Apr;31(4):647-54.

Injuries to the finger flexor pulley system in rock climbers: current concepts.

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Department of Trauma and Orthopaedic Surgery, Klinikum Bamberg, Bamberg, Germany.


Closed traumatic ruptures of finger flexor tendon pulleys began to be recognized specifically over the past several decades. This injury, although rare in the general population, is seen more commonly in rock climbers. This article analyzes this type of injury and the current diagnostic and therapeutic criteria. Ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging are used to differentiate between a pulley strain, partial rupture, complete rupture, or multiple ruptures. Grade I to III injuries (strains, partial rupture, single ruptures) are treated conservatively with initial immobilization and early functional therapy under pulley protection. Grade IV injuries (multiple ruptures) require surgical repair.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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