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Extensor tendon injury in finger
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By Tom Mulholland
From #1 Cheese Producing State!
Nov 21, 2011
Whiskey-a-Go-Go

I am reasonably sure that I've injured the tendon in my ring finger, or at least the sheath. The finger bulges out on the sides at the base, and I can't extend or flex the finger all the way. There is very mild pain if I force it into full extension, and worse pain if I try to close it all the way.

After reviewing a lot of various advice and problems, I think the solution is that I need to splint it and not use it for several weeks (depressing). My concern is this: if the sheath is busted, will it grow back and pull the tendon back towards the bone (i.e. will that bulging go away)? Or should I go see a P.T. about this?

I think there's one positive that will come out of this. It's so depressing right now to not be able to climb, that I'm going to enjoy the HELL out of some climbing once I can again. And I'm sure I'll be much more injury-conscious.


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By Tom Mulholland
From #1 Cheese Producing State!
Nov 21, 2011
Whiskey-a-Go-Go

Healthy ring finger
Healthy ring finger


Busted ring finger
Busted ring finger


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By Monomaniac
Administrator
From Morrison, CO
Nov 21, 2011
Insurrection, 5.14c.  Photo Adam Sanders.

I'm sure you know the answer to your question. My questions is how do you keep your skin so nice? I understand the snow-white complexion, living in Wisconsin, but the back of my hands are covered in gobies, cuts, abrasions, scars and bloody cuticles. Do you use some type of lotion, climb with Hand Jammies on, or some other method? What's your secret?


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By Tom Mulholland
From #1 Cheese Producing State!
Nov 21, 2011
Whiskey-a-Go-Go

Monomaniac wrote:
I'm sure you know the answer to your question. My questions is how do you keep your skin so nice? I understand the snow-white complexion, living in Wisconsin, but the back of my hands are covered in gobies, cuts, abrasions, scars and bloody cuticles. Do you use some type of lotion, climb with Hand Jammies on, or some other method? What's your secret?


First off, let me just say that I completely understand your jealousy. I'm sure it's been years since a woman (or your mammal of choice) told you she enjoyed your silky smooth hands on her skin (or fur). But there's no secret, really. Just that the quartzite here in Wisconsin is so smooth that it's difficult to get any of those sweet gobies or bloody cuticles. Also, if I had been using Hand Jammies (god forbid), I probably wouldn't have busted the finger, since crack climbing is much easier on the tendons.


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By Dylan Colon
From Eugene, OR
Dec 11, 2011
Me fishing for gear on an onsight of Mung.  Photo by Gokul Gopal.

Just saw this. Yikes, sorry to hear about it Tom. I've got a random question though, did the pain come gradually, or was it a very sudden thing? I've had some mild aches and pains in the same area recently, same finger, but it seems to come and go almost imperceptibly. Did you have any warning signs?


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By Tradoholic
Jan 12, 2012

Tom Mulholland wrote:
First off, let me just say that I completely understand your jealousy. I'm sure it's been years since a woman (or your mammal of choice) told you she enjoyed your silky smooth hands on her skin (or fur). But there's no secret, really. Just that the quartzite here in Wisconsin is so smooth that it's difficult to get any of those sweet gobies or bloody cuticles. Also, if I had been using Hand Jammies (god forbid), I probably wouldn't have busted the finger, since crack climbing is much easier on the tendons.


Haha, good one.

Tom, as I think I told you when I saw ya at the lake, time is all you need. 6+ weeks to climb, 6 months before its strong again.

What helps diagnose these things is the story of how it happened. If it suddenly, and you heard a "snap", yep, you busted a tendon or sheath, thus all you need it time. If this was an over-use injury, i.e. developed over time you will need to do some rehab, massage, strengthening etc. What's the current update on pain?

If I may also comment on how to stay injury free, I think you have to learn recognize injurious moves and holds and simply stay off them and/or learn when to let go. In my experience these types of injuries happen while over-exerting yourself, usually while hanging on for dear life because you don't want to fall while pumped. I really try to climb smooth and avoid thrutching for things. I last blew a finger while thrutching on Gill's Crack. I was pushing myself for Burr's camera which was stupid, I should have warmed up better climbed more smoothly.


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