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Sports Med. 1997 Apr;23(4):261-70.

Rock climbing injuries.

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Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.


Three-quarters of elite and recreational sport climbers will suffer upper extremity injuries. Approximately 60% of these injuries will involve the hand and wrist, the other 40% will be equally divided between the elbow and the shoulder. Most injuries will be tendonopathies secondary to strains, microtrauma or flexor retinacular irritation. However, up to 30% of these injuries in up to 50% of elite climbers will involve the proximal interphalangeal (PIP) region. These injuries are more serious and consist of varying degrees of flexor digitorum sublimis insertional strains, digital fibro-osseous sheath ruptures and PIP joint collateral ligament strains. Early changes in climbing schedules, stretching and exercise habits, and protective digital taping are necessary to protect and rehabilitate these athletes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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