Body

  • Rock Climbing Injury: Body: Pain Meds vs Sex
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Appendectomy and Climbing Training
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Body: Injury Truths
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Body: BPA and Waterbottles
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Body: Bouldering for Bone Density
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Body: Chronic Injury
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Body: Bouldering for the Bones
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Body: Antibiotics and Tendon Damage
  • Back

  • Rock Climbing Injury: Back: Spinal Fracture
  • Back: Preventing Hunchback
  • Back: Herniated Disc
  • Abdomen

  • Rock Climbing Injury: Abdomen: Muscle Tear/Hernia
  • Arm

    No items found.

    Shoulder

  • Rock Climbing Injury: Shoulder: Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Shoulder: SLAP Lesion and Cortisone
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Shoulder: Frozen Shoulder
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Shoulder: Torn Labrum, SLAP Lesion
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Shoulder: Separation
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Shoulder: Pain and Virus
  • Biceps

    No items found.

    Elbow

  • Rock Climbing Injury: Elbow: Tennis Elbow
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Elbow: Medial Tendonosis
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Elbow: Elbow Pain and Dodgy Elbows
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Elbow: Tendonosis
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Elbow: Medial Epicondylosis and Taping
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Elbow: Tingling and Numbness
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Elbows: Minimizing Fingerboard Injuries
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Elbow: Medial Epicondyle Tendonosis
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Elbow: Stress Fracture
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Elbow: Pain and Hangboarding
  • Wrist

  • Rock Climbing Injury: Wrist: Klienbock's Disease
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Wrist: Ruptured Tendon
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Snap, Crackle, Wrist
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Wrist: Fractured Scaphoid
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Wrist: Instability
  • Hand

  • Rock Climbing Injury: Fingers: Everything You Need to Know About Finger Stress
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Hands: Dupuytren's Disease (lump in palm)
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Hands: Numbness and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Fingers

  • Rock Climbing Injury: Fingers: What To Do with a Ruptured Flexor Digitorum Superficialis
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Fingers: Everything You Need to Know About Finger Stress
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Fingers: Hyper-extended
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Fingers: Cysts and Pain
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Fingers: Cracked Fingertips
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Fingers: De Quervain's Tenosynovitis
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Fingers: NSAID Treatment
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Fingers: Torn A2 Pulley
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Fingers: Trigger Thumb Syndrome
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Fingers: Stiffness, Soreness
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Fingers: Grip Position and Injury
  • Rock Climbing Injury:Fingers: Cortisone for Tendon Injuries
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Fingers: Pinky Finger Pain
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Fingers: Electrostimulation
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Hands: Numbness and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Fingers: Taping Truths
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Fingers: Flappers
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Fingers: Trigger-Finger Syndrome
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Fingers: Torn A3 and A4 Pulleys
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Fingers: Cysts
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Fingers: Arthritis
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Fingers: Numbness
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Fingers: Blown Tendons
  • Leg

  • Rock Climbing Injury: Leg: Achilles Tendonitis
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Leg and Knee: Broken Femur and Shattered Kneecap
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Leg: Pulled Hamstring
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Leg: Fracture
  • Knee

  • Rock Climbing Injury: Knee: Rockfall Causes Lump
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Knee: Chondral Injury of the Lateral Tibial Plateau
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Leg and Knee: Broken Femur and Shattered Kneecap
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Knee: Ruptured ACL
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Knee: Ruptured Ligament and Meniscus
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Knee: Synovial Cartilage Damage
  • Ankle

  • America's Best Climbing Area: Red River Gorge
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Ankle: Loud Pop Ankle Roll
  • Feet

  • Rock Climbing Injury: Feet: Broken Foot
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Feet: Gout and Pseudogout
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Feet: Toe Fracture
  •  
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    Wrist: Instability

    09-Apr-2010
    By

    A week ago I was climbing at Arapiles when I felt my wrist twinge on a hand jam. It still feels a bit tweaky and maybe slightly swollen, and it occasionally pops. I hurt it several months ago as well, though now it feels different.

    Most of the time, it's just the little-finger side that feels sore and hot. If I rotate my wrist around in a circle, it clicks - not a painful popping, but definitely noticeable. Playing with it loosens it up a little. If I squeeze my wrist, the whole thing pops, and I can feel the bone on the little-finger side lift up and pop back into place. Sometimes, it feels like everything's in line, but it always goes back to that drawn-down feeling.

    Climbing's not bothering it too much, so long as I don't do anything too hard or pull slopers.

    Marisa Field, Salt Lake City, Utah

    I had this condition many years ago. I saw a surgeon, and he said he could fuse my wrist for me - oh joy! - and he told me to stop climbing. Imagine that!

    Sounds like you have wrist instability. It will probably be diagnosed as mid-carpal instability, but there are several different types. Few physicians understand the biomechanics of the wrist, let alone under chronic heavy loading. Virtually every case I have seen has been in a climber. The instability may appear after a single traumatic event (ligament injury or bone fractures), it may be secondary to prolonged chronic overload of supporting ligaments, or it may be consequent to an underlying disease process (e.g., rheumatoid arthritis).

    The combination of these overlapping causes will result in a specific type of instability. In your case it will probably be that chronic repetitive forces of climbing combined with the previous injury have led you down the merry path of carpal mayhem.

    The most commonly damaged tissue is the triangular fibro-cartilaginous complex (TFCC) that sits between the end of your ulna and the carpal bones on that side. Damage to this, or a few neighboring ligaments, allows the ulna-side carpals to drop forward, known as ulna carpal sag. If you have to pop them back into place, then they are actually partially dislocating (subluxing).

    The click you hear when you rotate your wrist is either TFCC damage, which is now getting in the way, or the carpals on that side, having been caught in the wrong place, suddenly repositioning.

    These almost always stabilize, so don't rush to the surgeon just yet. Surgery can vary between the simple, the complex, and the experimental. 

    Routine x-rays are typically normal, though some special views, such as with a clenched fist, may be illuminating. Cinefluoroscopy (a video x-ray) will show abnormal mechanics.

    Tape is your friend. Get a professional to show you the way.

    The extensor exercises described in Medicine No. 156 are a good idea. Though no muscles attach to the relevant carpal bones, strength clearly plays a crucial role in stability.

    Slopers will be very aggravating. Crimping should be fine, but don't overdo it. Mix up your training.

    RELATED ARTICLES

    Wrist Fracture

    Hands Dupuytren's Disease

    Hand Numbness

    Elbows and Wrist, Tendonosis and Tendonitis

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