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Help!!!!! Lump in palm, possible pulley injury? or Dupuytren's?
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By kristenu
Mar 25, 2013
A few weeks ago I was bouldering in the gym and pulled pretty hard through a few crimps. My hand/fingers felt super strained when i came down, and i noticed that there was a small lump in the palm of my hand, about 3/4" below my ring & pinky finger. The pain went away within a few minutes, but the lump has been there for a few weeks now and the tendons in the palm of my hand where the lump is are slightly more visible than normal. I have full mobility and no pain at all, however my pinky finger feels really weak and shakes a bit..help! Can anyone tell me what i might have done? I've been researching for countless hours and all i can come up with is it might be a partial pulley tear, or Dupuytren's, but i'm a 30yr old female so i don't really fit that profile...Can i keep climbing if it doesn't hurt at all? I went to Red Rocks and bouldered hard the weekend after it happened and it didn't bother me, might have gotten slightly more swollen but thats it..
lump in hand
lump in hand

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By Monomaniac
Administrator
From Morrison, CO
Mar 25, 2013
Insurrection, 5.14c.  Photo Adam Sanders.
That looks exactly like Depuytren's Contracture, but your story leading up to it is puzzling. Depuytren's is chronic, not acute. Could it be that the lump has been there for a while but you only noticed it after straining your pinky flexor tendon?

Anyway, my left palm looks exactly like yours. I recommend stretching your pinky and ring fingers regularly. I tried massaging the lump for a few weeks but it only made it hurt and did nothing to reduce its size. The key is to maintain flexibility. With lots of stretching the bump will gradually get smaller. FWIW, this hasn't impacted my climbing at all, and it gives me something to do during staff meetings.

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By kristenu
Mar 25, 2013
Thanks for getting back to me! It's possible the lump was there for awhile and i didn't notice it..although it seems to have just appeared after i strained it on the wall..
How long have you had Dupuytren's? Has it gotten any worse? Thats such a relief to hear it hasn't affected your climbing at all!
Maybe my pinky flexor tendon was strained and that's why it feels weak?

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By Steve Williams
From Denver, CO
Mar 25, 2013
Go see your doctor!

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By Chris Re
From Boise, ID
Mar 25, 2013
Dupuytren - Your hand looks exactly like my hand. My incident happened a year ago on a relatively mild sports (10.b, big hold) climb at 40 years old. The key is to reduce the swelling, massage and stretching. The classic example is the finger is stuck in an odd position. Some people got surgery. I did not and finger is fine with only slightly perceptible stiffness.

I still can't wear my wedding ring.

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By Nate Reno
From Highlands Ranch, CO
Mar 25, 2013
Ellingwood Point Summit, Little Bear in the backgr...

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By kristenu
Mar 25, 2013
Do you think it could be synovial fluid in my tendon sheath from too much stress on my fingers? It might very well be Dupuytren's, but since it came on acutely, and i'm a 30 year old female of italian descent, i don't really fit the profile at all..

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By JCM
From Seattle, WA
Mar 25, 2013
kristenu wrote:
It might very well be Dupuytren's, but i'm a 30 year old female of italian descent, i don't really fit the profile at all..



Dupuytrens can come on early. I was 22 when I first had a dupuytrens knot show up (although I am male and Norwegian, so other than age I definately fit the profile). Still age doens't exclude you from consideration.

That said, Dupytrens does go "pop" on a move and sudeenly show up; it is a slow onset thing, over the course of years, so the sudden arrival is a vote against. Also, there really should be zero pain associated with Dupuytrens.

Fortunately, if it is Dupuytrens, there is no hurry to do anything about it. Mine hasn't changed whatsoever since it first showed up.

Overall, altough the picture looks a lot like Dupuytrens, all of your descriptions point to something else. My guess is that it is something else.

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By Charles Kinbote
From Brooklyn, NY
Mar 25, 2013
On Waimea, 5.10d
Could be a lumbrical tear. Does it hurt when you load your ring finger in an open position w/ your pinky curled up?

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By skinny legs and all
From Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania
Mar 26, 2013
Right Pile, Big Cottonwood Canyon, summer 2008.
Kristen, I had the exact same thing happen to the same place yesterday on my left hand, after I had read your post by chance. My hand looks identical to yours. I am not feeling any pain nor have I noticed any shaking of my pinky finger. I am positive that the lump was not there prior to my acute injury.

I think it is a lumbrial tear like Charles suggested. My hand is bothering me enough 36 hours later that I am going to see a specialist. I am at physical therapy all of the time for a torn bicep anyways. I have been icing the area with no decrease in swelling or pain. I was not climbing at the time of the injury. I felt a very sharp pain that came in two or three decreasing bursts and I knew I had really messed something up. I do not dare hanging with an open grip even on a bar with the pinky curled because I can already feel that maneuver will really hurt. I will post my results after I see a surgeon.

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By Jaime M
From Chattanooga, TN
Mar 26, 2013
Much love for the rock
Sign me up too. I pulled on a stupid juggy/edge with a pointed corner at the gym on Sunday. The corner dug into my palm and when I came down I had a rather angry looking tendon extending from between my first and middle finger to the palm on my left hand--exactly like yours just a different spot. It had a bruised look to it and pulsed kinda like a bruise. After I stopped climbing the swelling mostly went down. I still have a slight nervy feeling in my hand and wrist, though. And it hurts to press on the area. I'm hoping it's just a bruise (like I thought initially) or a strain. I don't have any pain when loading any of my fingers or any decrease in range of motion.

Wishing speedy recoveries to all.

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By Doug Lintz
From Kearney, NE
Mar 26, 2013
Destroyer of popcorn
It's kinda strange that this happened to me too last week while bouldering on my home wall. I happened to look at my palm and noticed a small lump in my palm about an inch below the base of my right ring finger. It didn't hurt then or now, hasn't changed size, and I have full range of motion of my hand/fingers. I was going to research it last weekend but I basically forgot it was there.

I hope everything works out for you. You should see a doctor if it continues to bother you.

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By Just Solo
From Colorado Springs
Mar 27, 2013
That is most likely a tendon injury. Dupuytrens doesn't swell. My dad had a pretty severe case. The tendon feels like a hard cable basically. That looks more like an overuse injury. The fact you can fully extend your finger leads away from Dupuytrens as well, though in the early stages that is less of an issue.

As someone else mentioned, climb enough, and your hands will get thrashed. Just part of it...

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By Darin Berdinka
Feb 26, 2014
One more oldish man joining the club. Lump below my pinky and ring finger that came on suddenly in the gym. No noticeable impact to strength, flexibility or feeling. It does become sore to the touch after climbing though. Has anyone pursued treatment for this? Seems like there wouldn't be much more to do than rest and maybe ice?

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By rob.calm
From Loveland, Colorado
Feb 26, 2014
Mother #1 on the Nautilus at Vedauwoo. Rob is calm...
Experience with Dupuytren's contracture

Profile: Eastern European Jewish descent. Onset: age 78. (Anyway, recent research suggests that disease is not especially confined to old Scandinavian men. Bit of a medical myth and the first question both orthopedists asked me was I of Scandinavian desecent. )

Location of lumps: On palmer side of L hand, below L ring finger.

Hand surgeon opinions (2 doctors; one a climber): If it can be treated non-surgically good, since the surgery is delicate. However if it starts getting to the point, where the finger is difficult to move, itís best to get the surgery done early rather than later as the surgery is more difficult if it has progressed to the point where the finger is immobile.

My experience: Since the condition developed, I tape around the hand so the lumps are covered. I do this before climbing or other activities such as working hard in the yard. If I donít do this, the lumps get irritated. No further progression over the past 5 years. The lumps are there, but they donít hurt and the finger is mobile.

My advice: See a hand specialist.

Gratias et valete bene!
RobertusPunctumPacificus

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By D-Storm
Feb 26, 2014
Enjoying a misty day on top of the Bookmark on Lum...
I'm 31 years old and I've had Dupuyton's since I was about 21 (I'm mostly German descent). The worst season I've had with the condition was my first summer at Rifle -- did too much closed crimping. Since then, I've gotten much better at using an open-handed grip as much as possible. Hasn't bothered me too much in the last 9 years or so, but the bumps do get irritated when I'm climbing a ton on limestone jugs.

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By rob.calm
From Loveland, Colorado
Feb 27, 2014
Mother #1 on the Nautilus at Vedauwoo. Rob is calm...
D-Storm wrote:
Hasn't bothered me too much in the last 9 years or so, but the bumps do get irritated when I'm climbing a ton on limestone jugs.


That's exactly the situation in which I find taping around the hand and covering the bumps is a big help.

r.c

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