Schöffl1,2,3,4, I. Schöffl 4,5, L. Frank 6 , T. Küpper7, M. Simon1, C. Lutter8
1 Section Sportsorthopedics and Sportsmedicine, Department of Orthopedic and Trauma Surgery, Klinikum Bamberg, Bamberg, FRG, Germany
2 Department of Trauma Surgery, Friedrich Alexander University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, FRG, Germany
3 Section of Wilderness Medicine, Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Denver, USA
4 School of Clinical and Applied Sciences, Leeds Becket University, Leeds, UK
5 Department of Pediatric Cardiology, Friedrich Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, FRG, Germany
6 Medical School, Friedrich Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, FRG, Germany
7 Institute of Occupational & Social Medicine, RWTH Aachen Technical University, FRG, Germany
8 Department of Orthopedic and Trauma Surgery, Klinikum Bamberg, FRG, Germany
9 Department of Orthopedics, Rostock University Medical Center, Rostock, FRG, Germany
Background. Over the last decade, rock climbing has become an increasingly popular sport. With the latest inclusion into the Olympic program, this trend will continue upward. Lately, specific tendon injuries on the hand (e.g. lumbricalis tendon injuries or tenosynovi- tis) are reported to be on the rise within climbing patients. Design. Clinical cohort study and comparison with literature data. Review of current ther- apeutic concepts.
Methods. Tendon injuries to the hands of rock climbers were identified from our climbers patient database over the years of 2017/18. These were compared to the numbers of 2009- 2012 and 1998-2001. The injuries were analyzed, and the results were compared with the current literature. Results. Within the ten most frequent injuries over the years 2017 and 2018, three were to the tendons and tendon sheath/pulleys. In a longitudinal comparison of patients in a climbing-specific sports medical clinic, the pulley injury is consistently the most frequent injury, followed by tenosynovitis and capsulitis of the finger joints. Conclusions. In rock climbers, tendon injuries of the hand are frequent and many of these specific to the sport. Special knowledge about their pathology, diagnostics and treatment is necessary as some of these injuries rarely occur in non-climbing patients. With the further advent of climbing, an increase in injury incidence is to be expected.
KEY WORDS: Sport climbing; pulley injury; tenosynovitis; lumbrical tear; pulley tear; finger injury