Journal of Orthopaedics Trauma Surgery and Related Research

Journal of Orthopaedics Trauma Surgery and Related Research

An Official Journal of Polish Society of Orthopaedics and Traumatology

ISSN:1897-2276
e-ISSN: 2449-9145

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The frequency of occurrence injuries of fingers in sport climbers

Author(s): Katarzyna Ciopińska, Anna Brzęk, Tadeusz Szymon Gaździk

Introduction. Sport climbing developed in the course of a long process and eventually became an autonomous mountain sport. Nowadays, the term sport climbing refers to climbing natural or artificial walls whose height usually does not exceed 30-40 metres. The climber ascends the route using permanent anchors for protection from a fall. Popularization of climbing has contributed to the development of special training methods, enabling the climbers to conquer increasingly difficult rock routes. However, intensive training and constantly increasing training loads often lead to traumas of the motor system. Due to the specific character of loads, the majority of injuries are located in the upper limbs - usually in the area of fingers. Material. The study included 188 climbers: 169 men aged 17 to 57 (x = 27.56 ± 6.46) and 19 women aged 18 - 32 (x = 25.71 ± 3.78). The surveyed persons were divided into two groups: group A - those who had been climbing for 1 - 4 years, and group B - climbers who had been training for 5 - 10 years. The study used the author’s own survey form consisting of 48 questions, e.g. on the length of the climbing career, the quality and quantity of training, the causes and mechanisms of past finger injuries. Results. Each of the climbers in the study groups had experienced at least once a finger injury due to the climbing practice. 65% of them suffered from multiple injuries. The most commonly injured structures were finger flexor tendons and the structures supporting their action - they constituted 62% of all injuries. The main cause of traumas was overload - 33%. It was found that climbers with a longer training history and those conquering more difficult rock routes had experienced multiple injuries more often in their career. A statistically significant correlation was discovered between the amount of time devoted to convalescence and the rate of injury recurrence (p = 0.00001). Conclusions. In sport climbing most injuries are located in the area of finger flexor tendons. The injuries often occur repeatedly and their main cause is overload due to incorrect training. A shortened post-traumatic regeneration period contributes to injury recurrence in the same area.


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Annals of Medical and Health Sciences Research Journal of Orthopaedics Trauma Surgery and Related Research a publication of Polish Society, is a peer-reviewed online journal with quaterly print on demand compilation of issues published.
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