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Trigger Finger

2:31:53 PM
I ve had trigger finger syndrome on my left middle finger for as long as I ve been climbing. For those that dont know its basically a condition where the finger locks off in the curled position and cannot open by its self link here. I ve been told by an osteo/climber that this results from too much crimping.
Anyway I saw a plastic surgeon (hand specialist) who confirmed the trigger finger syndrome and suggested an operation where the tendon sheath is expanded to allow free movement of the tendon inside it. The specialist says that operation is a permannet solution unlike cortizone where the condition is likely to come back.

My question is has anyone done this operation and got back into climbing after it? Did problems show up again? Did things become worse?
The doc couldnt really convince me on the above since he was not aware of climbing etc.
2:46:08 PM
Well again Chockstone amazes me as a source of information.

Something very similar happened to me earlier this month while leading a 21 at Araps. Basically I thought it was forearm cramps. My fingers - especially the middle two - wouldn't open again and stayed curled against my palm. I managed to straighten them with some effort. Fairly alarming thing to happen while trying to fiddle in some gear - fortunately I didn't fall off.

As I said I thought it was just cramping but after checking your link I'm not so sure. I've also had some pain in the middle finger joint at the top of the palm - matching the description of inflammation on your link. The 'locking' only happened 2-3 times on that one route - which happened to be the last route of a 3-day trip - and hasn't happened since.

- Steve

2:51:07 PM
The closest I have come to it is finger cramps. Often more a result of long motor bike rides than climbing, but since I combine the two the effect is the same.
So far I can still straighten the fingers with effort, so I commiserate for you.
Good luck to you fellows with your trigger-fingers.
4:42:20 PM
G'day Nick,

I had a trigger finger for about 18 months or more. It was the little finger on my right hand and it was caused by several occurances of bashing my finger severely whilst ice climbing.

I could feel a lump that had formed in the joint/tendon that was causing it to catch.

It was a neat party trick and all my non climbing friends would laugh when I demoed the effect.

Surprisingly constant deep tissue massage and a few months on glocosamine on and off together with just time passing curred it away, so no issues at all now.

They say that sometimes time heals all wounds.

Good luck with it.

John K.
4:58:33 PM
Not having a good run with injuries there JohnK. First this and now the elbows!
9:03:18 AM
I've had finger/forearm cramping one day as well. Had to sit on the gear for about 20 minutes just below the crux (I was the only leader, in a group of three) before I felt comfortable to keep going. I can't remember which hand it was but I had my finger/s (I can't remember if it was one or more) get stuck in that position and had to use my other hand to frocibly straighten it/them. I had experienced forearm cramps while belaying on the previous pitch and feel it was more likely just cramping than anything else. We'd driven to Araps from Melbourne that morning, it was hot and I was a bit dehydrated.


10:51:02 AM
Considering that my turn for an operation at the hospital wont be coming any time soon (3-6 months) I ll try some glucosamine. Thanks for that JonhK.
I bought a supplement with glucosamine, chondroiting and msm. I might try some fish oil as well that apparently lubricates the joints. I dunno if this stuff is able to reach all the way to the finger joints (low blood supply and all) but its worth a shot.
3:13:12 PM
I thought glucosamine was for strength/endurance. How does it help tendons?

6:56:05 PM
Itís meant to help in the formation and repair of cartilage in people who have osteoarthritis Ė but hey itís a herbal supplement so surely it can cure all other ailments. If not why not take some calcium, magnesium, vit E or have a coffee enema. I mean why should you listen to a plastic surgeon who specialises in hand injuries Ė he only spent like 6 years in medical school, worked and studied for another 10 years and then passed ridiculously difficult exams to become a consultant. Itís way better to go to a naturopath with a 2 week degree from

9:31:31 PM
My father, sister and I have all had trigger fingers sugically corrected with varying degrees of success. My sisters is fine (non climber), my fathers is still dodgy (also a non climber) and mine is great. I followed the hand OT's post op exercise routine religiously and was back climbing in a few months.

I did not have cortisone injections initially as I had another tendon problem in the same hand that needed surgery and the plastic surgeon thought he would fix both at once. Interestingly, the other problem, De Quervanes tendonitis, resulted from scaring left in my wrist after a cortisone injection some years before.

My advice would be: try the non invasive treatments first, if you can fix it without risking infections etc. all the better. I should have tried the deep tissue massage first as I have heard it is often sucessful. I would avoid cortisone personally after my bad experience. If all else fails, go the knife!
8:12:40 AM
Yo DaCrux - how many years of those 6 do you rekon he/she spent studying climbing injuries? How many of the questions in those really really hard exams were about recovery from climbing injuries?

You should ask Boardlord what its like to go to three different medical specialists and have them stare blankly back when you say 'I think I might have some sort of pulley damage after all that crimping on the weekend'.

Seriously though Nikolisper - maybe search out a specialist with some climbing experience who can give you some advice. (There are some around)

Now I'm off to bend over and get my morning caffine hit...

7:40:27 PM
Yo Ronny, maybe Boardlord's problem is that he crimps too much ;)
Nah seriously - I'd obviously go to a doc who specialises in sports injuries. My point was that some people think herbal supplements can cure everything.
7:45:25 PM
On 27/03/2007 DaCrux wrote:

>My point was that some people think herbal supplements can cure everything.

And others push Western medicine with surgery of cortisone injections as the answer to all our ailments...

Keep an open mind and look at the best of both approaches perhaps?

8:11:59 PM
I do keep an open mind - but I also believe in evidence based treatments. If a randomised controlled trial shows that something is no better than a placebo - I'm not gonna waste money on it. I do think that things such as acupuncture, therapeutic massage, etc help but Iím a bit sceptical when it comes to certain herbal supplements Ė especially when theyíre not used for their intended purpose.

12:01:03 AM
Sometimes just the thought that you are actually getting help from a certain herbal medicine or a healer or an alien can be enough to improve your condition if you know what mean. So if taking supplements helps you feel that you are actually doing something positive about your situation and makes you feel better then you can argue/believe that the supplement has done its job :)
Just like people who need encouragement to push on on a climb. Its not the encouragement that got them up but the change of attitude that resulted from the encouragement.

9:50:06 AM
On 27/03/2007 DaCrux wrote:
>I do keep an open mind -

You've got to be f---ing joking

8:37:13 PM
On 28/03/2007 dougal wrote:
>You've got to be f---ing joking

dude - you know nothing about me

2:12:19 PM
On 26/03/2007 DaCrux wrote:
"...he only spent like 6 years in medical
>school, worked and studied for another 10 years and then passed ridiculously
>difficult exams to become a consultant. Itís way better to go to a naturopath
>with a 2 week degree from

Dude you should read your own posts. You're being obtuse and insulting.

12:09:18 AM
On 29/03/2007 dougal wrote:
>Dude you should read your own posts. You're being obtuse and insulting.

gee the same could be said about you really.....

there's a big difference between being sarcastic and obtuse

10:36:16 AM
ok, sorry my appology. You're just being insulting and not obtuse. ok we're BOTH being insulting now*. Back to the story.

* attempted humour.

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There are 22 messages in this topic.


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