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Heard pop while crimping - curious as to severity of injury
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scotthall


Jul 18, 2006, 10:48 PM
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Heard pop while crimping - curious as to severity of injury
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I was recently climbing a very crimpy boulder problem and when I weighted my left hand to make a powerful big move I heard a crack and immediately let go. I nearly cried thinking about not being able to climb b/c of injury.

I have been reading about pulley injuries online and I am trying to determine the severity and recovery of my injury. I have read that a complete rupture will swell and will have a persisting pain. . . and that the first indication of a rupture is the loud pop of the pulley. However, I heard the loud pop but I have no swelling or persistent pain. There is some slight pain if I try to crimp down with that finger and I have only 20% of the strength in that finger as I had before.

Is it possible that this is a partial rupture of a pulley or does the loud pop indicate a complete rupture. Also, how long should my recovery time be depending on the severity.

Thanks to all who respond.


Partner tisar


Jul 18, 2006, 11:03 PM
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Re: Heard pop while crimping - curious as to severity of inj [In reply to]
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First of all: Go visit a doc! It might cost you a buck or two but either there's nothing (means you don't pay that much but you're sure) or you got a problem here - then you might prevent yourself from chronic injury. Worth it...

Else? Here is a pretty good article on pulley injuries by j_ung. Worth reading, but you already did some online research, so you might have found it.

Sorry I can'T help further... Good luck!

- Daniel


cjsimpso


Jul 18, 2006, 11:05 PM
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Re: Heard pop while crimping - curious as to severity of inj [In reply to]
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I'm not a doctor, but I sometimes play one on RC.com

My general injury advice:
Do not climb if it hurts.
When it stops hurting, wait another week.
Try climbing easy stuff, gently easing back into it and building up strength over a long period.
If it starts hurting again, even a little, shut it down for another week.

I had a minor pulley issue that I rested for about three weeks, and it felt fine. I hopped back on and was doing fine for about five days, but ended up over doing it and the pain came back. Result, another month off the rock.

Take it easy and wait until you're ready.
In the meantime, buy more gear.

I'm sure someone who knows more than me can come on here and give you more specific medical information. (although no one really can diagnose you without the proper training and seeing you in person)


Partner tisar


Jul 18, 2006, 11:14 PM
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In reply to:
... In the meantime, buy more gear. ...

Aaah, the holistic approach! The pleased mind heals the suffering body... Ooohm...

:lol:

- Daniel


overlord


Jul 18, 2006, 11:28 PM
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Re: Heard pop while crimping - curious as to severity of inj [In reply to]
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the recovery time is strongly related to the extent of the injury and can be anything between 3 weeks to 6 months. in any case, you shouldnt even think about climbing until it stops hurting.

and i would STRONLGY reccomend seeing a doc in your case.


gymslackerclimber


Jul 18, 2006, 11:56 PM
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Re: Heard pop while crimping - curious as to severity of inj [In reply to]
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i never went to the DOC, but i def ruptured something in my ring finger, from what ihave read,, the #5 pulley... this was in early Feb.. early May i could crimp 80%- then i dislocated my shoulder and tore some cartilage... so that sucks,, but hey atleast i cant sabatoge my pulley before it heals 100%..


my advice, if you really fouled somthing up, dont think about it(the injury),,(the fact you cant use that hand to climb/make a fist/carry plastic grocery bags/ do pull ups/swith the light swtich on/open a friggin cabinet...

the stress and agony of thinking about will prolong your recovery...

and especially dont bend it or check each day to see how it is (ITS WONT BE ANY BETTER!!)------ forget you have that finger!


happybob


Jul 18, 2006, 11:57 PM
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Re: Heard pop while crimping - curious as to severity of inj [In reply to]
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Wow dude, same thing happened to me while I was working on a hang board. Was doing bird and ring finger pockets, and let go with the right to reach another hold and got that awsome pop.

I didnt have any presistant pain or swelling, and it only hurt when I used the very tip of my ring finger. Crimps only hurt when I really focused on isolating the ring finger.

Anyway, I taped it and let it rest for about 2 and a half weeks, and then eased back onto the rock, only doing easier climbs for a few weeks, working my way back up, and now I'm back and better than ever.

Take what you want from that truely epic story.


gymslackerclimber


Jul 19, 2006, 12:09 AM
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OH get one of those sand balls. once your ready, it really feels excellent to squeeze the ball ..


gunkiemike


Jul 19, 2006, 3:57 AM
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My only finger tendon injury was similar. I heard and felt a snap when I tried to show off doing a pullup on a door frame. I never got it looked at by a Dr so I don't know if it was a pulley or something else. There was no "bowstringing" so I don't think it was a total rupture. I gave it total rest for a couple weeks or so, then climbed non-crimpy things for the next couple months. This might be harder for you to do if you're a pure boulderer. I also taped it always for the next 6 months.


scotthall


Jul 19, 2006, 5:28 AM
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thanks for the comments fellas, it helps to go straight to climbers for their advice and personal experience. . . since we are the only unlucky bastards to deal with this injury.

oh, and gymslackerclimber guy, i've been thinking and i'm ready. . . ready to feel excellent. . . so i think in my down time i will work on strengthening my good hand by squeezing my balls. . . oh wait, your talking about the hurt hand. . . oh, and not my balls.

it is the morning after the injury now and there is stiffness in my hurt finger and some slight pain. . . i'm hoping for a speedy recovery but realize this can only be achieved through patience and slow rehabilitation.


acacongua


Jul 19, 2006, 6:44 AM
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The exact thing happen to me, and luckily one of my running partners is a PT for hands. First, are you sure it's a pulley tendon (the one where your finger attaches to your bone)? Is it hanging down? If so, it's detached from the bone - stop climbing. Ice it and rub it vigorously. And of course, do some good ol' Aleve therapy.

In my case, it was the tendon near the joint closest to my nailbed. I could still bend it and she said that it means the tendon is still attached so I should just buddy tape it.

Of course, I didn't and the swelling became immense so I have to take it easy.


scotthall


Jul 19, 2006, 7:32 AM
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aconcagua - thanks for the reply. i can close my hand into a fist and the finger doesn't just hang there. also, the pain and slight swelling seems to be inbetween the last two joints of the finger. . . are you saying this isn't a pulley injury?


cmajercz


Jul 19, 2006, 7:54 AM
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I also have a friend who is a PT (specializing in hands and wrists). She recommended I use thera putty (google it) for rehabilitation. It comes in several stiffnesses and allows you to work back into squeezing. She also told me it'd be good to use this putty even when you aren't injured (for warming up and down) I wonder if our friend is the same woman acacongua?


drdave


Jul 19, 2006, 8:42 AM
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Despite the username I'm not an MD so everything here is IMHO, YMMV, etc.

About a year ago I had a finger injury although it was more of a heard/felt tearing sensation than a pop. Moderate pain/swelling with no discoloration. When I went to the Dr after a couple of weeks he looked/felt for lateral stability, function, and bowstringing with a lot of comparison to the other hand. After this I did a month of 3x week physical therapy and started easy climbing about 3 months after that. At this point in my life I have good health coverage so this wasn't such a big deal, but that hasn't always been the case. If it were to happen to me again, I would self-evaluate lateral stability/function/bowstringing and if there were no obvious problems then REST (no climbing) for several months and use DIY physical therapy during that time. The sand ball sounds good. Another exercise that they gave me to help with finger range of motion is to go through the following positions, holding each for about 5 seconds, 5 cycles:
1) Open hand as wide as possible
2) While keeping palm open, bend distal finger joints so that fingertips come as close as possible to top of palm
3) Make a fist
4) Relax hand

The hardest part is taking a long enough rest from climbing. Good Luck!


alicex4


Jul 19, 2006, 9:41 AM
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Popped the tendon in my middle finger taking off a sock. Heard a pop, no pain, but the digit bowed immediately. Went to my GP and he referred me immediately to an orthopedist. X-rays showed a big strain but no surgery needed to reattach the tendon. Spent 12 weeks with a finger splint. Doc told me not to move the digit at all, even when I changed the splint or i would be right back to day 1 of healing. Needless to say I belayed at lot that summer. Things are fine now. Get it checked out.


clmbnski


Jul 19, 2006, 3:37 PM
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I too was trying to show off on a campus board when I injured my right middle and ring fingers. I heard a pop but I am wondering if it was the joint making the sound because I dont think I ruptured it.

Here has been my experience so far:
For the first three weeks or so I had slight pain opening and closing my hand (1 or 2 on a 1 to 10 scale) but no swelling. I palpated my fingers comparing to my good hand and could not find any difference.
It stopped hurting to open and close my hand but I would notice some pain ocasionally just using my hand. Finally after about a month and a half I went bouldering. The fingers started to hurt while I was bouldering but the pain would immediately go away when I stopped pulling. I gave it another week or so off and then did some easy trad. That is where I am at now. I dont have any pain while climbing 5.7/5.8 but sometimes feel a soreness. I think I injured the most proximal pulley in my fingers.

Good Luck


Partner hosh


Jul 19, 2006, 4:03 PM
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I'm pretty sure that the injury is pretty severe. You might have even lost your finger. Go back to the crag and look for it, just to be sure.

hosh.


fluxus


Jul 19, 2006, 4:22 PM
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Don't assume that it was a pulley it could have been a ligament, part of the joint capsule etc. You need to go to a doc right away and have it examined by a hand specialist, try to get and X-ray and an MRI.

If it was a full pulley rupture you would see your fingering bowing out during flexion.

Don't listen to any of the advice posted thus far except for the person who said go to the doc. You can not make an intelligent treatment plan without knowing exactly what was injured, and the degree of the injury. The chances of figuring that out on your own are slim to none. That's not an insult to you, its just that the hands are very complex.


tradrenn


Jul 19, 2006, 4:51 PM
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You may also want to check:

http://www.climbinginjuries.com/


pyrosis


Jul 19, 2006, 5:21 PM
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Scott-

If you had bowstringing its almost certainly a pulley. I had the same experience as you, on a crimpy boulder problem, heard a pop. I wasnt sure if I had bowstringing or not (I think not), though I had mild to moderate pain that resolved in a week or so and very little strength in that finger for several weeks. This injury healed on its own and I was back at 100% within two months.

Tavis


pyrosis


Jul 19, 2006, 5:23 PM
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Oh yeah so my point was that I heard a POP and did NOT have bowstringing, and my injury was apparently NOT a complete rupture and it did heal completely on its own, and though I was worried about it I lacked the $$$ or insurance to see a doc, so I didn't.


scotthall


Jul 19, 2006, 5:30 PM
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hot damn i love you guys - again, thanks for all the advice. it is helping a lot with regards to insight of the injury.

climb hard and again i appreciate all the comments and hope to see you all out there after a speedy, but patient recovery.


sidepull


Jul 19, 2006, 5:31 PM
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Scott, to properly diagnose the injury we need to know where you were climbing and the name of the problem (or to be less of an ass about it, I'm just curious seeing as how you're from utah and I've climbed a bit there).


acacongua


Jul 19, 2006, 6:33 PM
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I think some people are confused with which is the pulley. If you pop a pulley, the point where your finger attaches to your skin will droop on the palm side.

Also, a "pop" could mean a mere sprain rather than a complete detachment.

/all this i learned running with a therapist. =-)


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