• Broken Hand
  • NSAIDS: To Use or Not to Use
  • Hydrocele, Spermatocele and Strained Groin
  • Hand: Arthritis
  • Open-Heart Surgery
  • Osteopenia and Increasing Bone Density
  • Body: Pain Meds vs Sex
  • Appendectomy and Climbing Training
  • Body: Injury Truths
  • Body: BPA and Waterbottles
  • Body: Bouldering for Bone Density
  • Body: Chronic Injury
  • Body: Bouldering for the Bones
  • Body: Antibiotics and Tendon Damage
  • Back

  • Lumbar Bone Spurs
  • Options for Disc Herniation
  • Back: Spinal Fracture
  • Back: Preventing Hunchback
  • Back: Herniated Disc
  • Abdomen

  • Abdomen: Muscle Tear/Hernia
  • Arm

    No items found.


  • Thoracic Musculature Tightness
  • Chronic Posterior Shoulder Pain
  • Supraspinatus and Labral Tears
  • Chronic Shoulder Pain
  • Shoulder Replacement
  • Shoulder Pain
  • Exploding Shoulder
  • Shoulder: Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
  • Shoulder: SLAP Lesion and Cortisone
  • Shoulder: Frozen Shoulder
  • Shoulder: Torn Labrum, SLAP Lesion
  • Shoulder: Separation
  • Shoulder: Pain and Virus
  • Biceps

  • Bursting Biceps
  • Elbow

  • Golfer's Elbow
  • Elbow: Brachioradialis Pain
  • Tennis Elbow
  • Medial Epicondylosis Tendonitis
  • Dodgy Elbows Revisited
  • Synovial Chips
  • Quack Elbow Treatments to Avoid
  • Elbow Pain and Cortisone Use
  • Do Compression Sleeves Work?
  • Elbow: Tennis Elbow
  • Elbow: Medial Tendonosis
  • Elbow: Elbow Pain and Dodgy Elbows
  • Elbow: Tendonosis
  • Elbow: Medial Epicondylosis and Taping
  • Elbow: Tingling and Numbness
  • Elbows: Minimizing Fingerboard Injuries
  • Elbow: Medial Epicondyle Tendonosis
  • Elbow: Stress Fracture
  • Elbow: Pain and Hangboarding
  • Wrist

  • TFCC Tear
  • Wrist Pain From Cleaning Routes
  • Wrist: Klienbock's Disease
  • Wrist: Ruptured Tendon
  • Snap, Crackle, Wrist
  • Wrist: Fractured Scaphoid
  • Wrist: Instability
  • Hand

  • Broken Hand
  • Hand: Hook of the Hamate Fracture
  • Fingers: Everything You Need to Know About Finger Stress
  • Hands: Dupuytren's Disease (lump in palm)
  • Hands: Numbness and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Fingers

  • Swollen Right Index Finger
  • Pinky Numbness
  • Avulsion Fracture
  • Hand: Arthritis
  • Finger Numbness
  • Fourth Metacarpal Break
  • First Pulley Strain
  • Freezing Fingers Today, Benefit Tomorrow?
  • Cysts in Fingers
  • Ruptured Finger Pulley
  • Major Finger Pain
  • Fingers: What To Do with a Ruptured Flexor Digitorum Superficialis
  • Fingers: Everything You Need to Know About Finger Stress
  • Fingers: Hyper-extended
  • Fingers: Cysts and Pain
  • Fingers: Cracked Fingertips
  • Fingers: De Quervain's Tenosynovitis
  • Fingers: NSAID Treatment
  • Fingers: Torn A2 Pulley
  • Fingers: Trigger Thumb Syndrome
  • Fingers: Stiffness, Soreness
  • Fingers: Grip Position and Injury
  • Fingers: Cortisone for Tendon Injuries
  • Fingers: Pinky Finger Pain
  • Fingers: Electrostimulation
  • Hands: Numbness and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Fingers: Taping Truths
  • Fingers: Flappers
  • Fingers: Trigger-Finger Syndrome
  • Fingers: Torn A3 and A4 Pulleys
  • Fingers: Cysts
  • Fingers: Arthritis
  • Fingers: Numbness
  • Fingers: Blown Tendons
  • Leg

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

  • Outside Knee Pain: Tibiofibular Joint
  • MCL Injury
  • Blown Knees
  • Knee Tendonitis after Ankle Fusion
  • Meniscal Tear on a Drop Knee
  • Knee: Rockfall Causes Lump
  • Knee: Chondral Injury of the Lateral Tibial Plateau
  • Leg and Knee: Broken Femur and Shattered Kneecap
  • Knee: Ruptured ACL
  • Knee: Ruptured Ligament and Meniscus
  • Knee: Synovial Cartilage Damage
  • Ankle

  • Osteochondral Talus Fracture
  • Knee Tendonitis after Ankle Fusion
  • Snapped ankle tendon
  • Possible Death of the Talus Bone
  • Broken Talus Bone
  • Ankle: Loud Pop Ankle Roll
  • Feet

  • Bunions
  • Dr. J Attacks Fungal Toenails
  • Feet: Broken Foot
  • Feet: Gout and Pseudogout
  • Feet: Toe Fracture
  • Video Spotlight
    Alex Honnold Solos Lover's Leap in Dan Osman Tribute
    Alex Honnold Solos Lover's Leap in Dan Osman Tribute
    Whipper of the Month
    Weekend Whipper: Chris Sharma's 100-foot Pont d’Arc Deep Water Solo
    Weekend Whipper: Chris Sharma's 100-foot Pont d’Arc Deep Water Solo

    Shoulder: Torn Labrum, SLAP Lesion


    I have been climbing for seven years. Two months ago I was working an overhanging crack on toprope. My left hand was jammed in a bottleneck constriction, and as I was reaching up with my right hand for another hold, my feet came off. I fell with full force onto my left arm, but my left hand did not come out of crack. I felt a pop followed by intense burning pain in my shoulder. I saw an orthopedic surgeon (OS), and had an MRI that indicated probable cartilage (labrum) damage. The OS prescribed two months of physical therapy and no climbing. I did my two months of PT, working very hard on my own as well. The physical therapist and OS cleared me to try climbing again. I warmed up on a 5.9 crack, then a 5.10c sport climb and felt good. I woke up the next day unable to lift my left arm past the height of my shoulder due to pain. I was in a lot of pain for several days and finally went and saw another OS for a second opinion. He feels that I need surgery. What do you think?

    Crimp7 | Forum

    Just the thought of swinging around no feet with one hand jammed is enough to put me off crack climbing for life. If there is one mechanism for cartilage damage, that would have to be it.

    The course you have taken is quite a good one. As far as climbers are concerned, you have done well.

    It is difficult to know whether the aggravation is related to a SLAP lesion or a climbing-related load on a joint that had forgotten what climbing is. In the absence of overt locking, I would be disinclined to have surgery. The pain you describe smacks of bursitis.

    Not being able to lift your arm above your shoulder, though acute, is not a great sign that surgery is required. It is possible that the climbing has annoyed a tendon or bursa, both of which are exceedingly capable of rendering you a blubbering mess. I would be inclined to do some fairly vigorous stretching and try to climb again. One easy and very effective stretch involves putting your hand palm out in the small of your back, and lever your elbow forward. Hold it for 30 seconds and repeat a few times. Surgery is not urgent in this case, though may help your mental state—not to underestimate that!

    Orthopedic testing in the shoulder is notoriously unreliable. The “empty can test,” mentioned in a Rock and Ice forum post, is positive for supraspinatus tears, impingement, infraspinatus tears, SLAP lesions, bursitis, AC joint strain, brain tumors, ingrown toenails and whether your stocks will bounce back this week. The only thing this test can reliably say is that there is something wrong with your shoulder.

    Cartilage damage is the pink T-Rex in the doctor’s office. Notoriously difficult to evaluate using orthopedic tests, it is also often under-diagnosed in MRIs. Additionally, a labral pathology is rarely a stand-alone injury. Rotator-cuff tears often ride shotgun and discharge more than their quota of ammo.

    A brief word on other stuff: Look out! Despite a committed effort by The Skeptics Society the planet remains polluted with new-age voodoo. Cancer is controlled by the mind—didn’t you know? Asbestos is just a gargantuan red herring. And injecting salt water into your labrum (that’s in your shoulder, not your vagina) will render it new again. Bullshit. Call me an unenlightened heathen and log complaints at The idea that Cortisone is a treatment option needs to be largely deleted from medicine’s collective conscience. Dr. Phil is also proving as hard to remove as a skid mark on sheer silk.


    Reader's Commentary:

    Don't want to use Facebook, but still want to comment? We have you covered:

    Add Your Comments to this article: