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Injuries and Medical Advice

Fingers: Hyper-extended

I was bouldering with my left middle and ring fingers deep in a pocket. I had to quickly get my fingers out and reach up for the next hold, and as I did, I hyper-extended them. Four months later I remain unable to climb. Should I get some scans?

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I was bouldering with my left middle and ring fingers deep in a pocket. I had to quickly get my fingers out and reach up for the next hold, and as I did, I hyper-extended them. Four months later I remain unable to climb. Should I get some scans?

Gaberabin | Rock and Ice Forum

You were living in Sydney. You were even climbing in the Blue Mountains. I work in the Blue Mountains. You didn’t call.

In all likelihood you do, or did, have a small avulsion fracture. When you hyper-extended the middle finger joint (aka the PIP joint), one of the connective tissues, be it ligament or the joint capsule, will have pulled off a fragment of bone. If an x-ray does not reveal a fracture, then you may have just disrupted the capsule on the front of the joint.

Given that it settled down and only briefly re-aggravates after indoor climbing, a dose of radiation may be a little pointless. I think yours is more likely plain old stress rather than non-union, but if it persists certainly acquire a set of films.

Though prescribing rest is, for the most part, an excuse for poor diagnostics and even worse management, in this instance it’s neither. Anything that annoys this finger needs to halt until the pain settles. Be patient!

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