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Chockstone Forum - Accidents & Injuries

Report Accidents and Injuries

Author
A Thumb Pointing South

oweng
24/12/2004
12:55:16 PM
A spur of the moment descision to have a quick after work boulder backfired on me yesterday.

After rocking up to the beachside boulders at Taroona in Hobart, and having a chat to a guy who was bouldering there as well, I headed through a gap in the main boulderfield to do a problem called 'salty'. It starts of a wave washed platform, and heads up 45 degree overhanging rock on little slopers (that get a bit covered in salt spray, hense the name).

Not having a bouldering mat, I chucked a little rock on the platform to enable me to reach the starting hold from the sit down start, pulled up and reached up and right to the second hold. It was indeed slippery and slopy.

I realised it was a bit dank for me to pull on, and prepared myself to dismount, all of a sudden I was falling.

I wasnt overly concerned, as my butt wouldnt have been more that 1 metres of the ground, however being aware that I had the 'cheat stone' beneath me, and not wanting to land on it with my back, I through my legs and ams back so that I landed on both feet and both hands, facing up, with my bum and back still off the ground so as to be clear of the rock.

Good in theory, but in practice I found that I ended up lying uncomfortably on my back sprawled across the rock, aware that something felt 'not quite right' with my left hand.

A quick shocked inspection showed that the thumb was bent upwards at a very un-natural angle, with the second knuckle from the end either broken or dislocated.

What had happened was that there was a flared crack in the wave platform, that my hand had landed on palm down. The crack was wide enough for my fingers to go into, but the thumb remained on the outside whilst most of my bodyweight pushed the arm down.

Shocked, but not yet in too much pain, I gathered my stuff and got Andrew (who I had met 15 minutes before) to drive me to hospital.

A canister of nitrus oxide, and a shot in the arm of something druggie later, the re-setting of the thumb (which took the doctor two big heaves to acheive) only felt partialy agonising.

The x-rays show no breaks, so its a case of a big dislocation, and the associated ligament damage. Looks like 2 or 3 months of climbing.

Still, its the first injury ive had from a fall climbing (in 7 or 8years), so I cant complain. Still its somewhat ironic that it happened in a fall of about 1.0metres.

What have I learnt?

- I should have bought a bouldering mat, ill definatly shell out the $$$ for one now!
- Dont be complacent becasue youve done a route/problem before, it can still trip you up.
- Nitrus Oxide is excellent.

Well no climbing for me over the Chrissy break, looks like ill get to watch a bit of cricket on the tellie though!

neats
24/12/2004
12:59:24 PM
Ouch!!

mousey
24/12/2004
1:28:22 PM
>- Nitrus Oxide is excellent
steve p was telling me some amusing stories (' that happened to a friend of a friend of his') about the stuff in nz a few weeks ago, sounds...ummm...entertaining?!

always a shame to hear of injuries, rest well! good luck

IdratherbeclimbingM9
24/12/2004
1:38:13 PM
Sorry to hear it oweng.

>A Thumb Pointing South
>Well no climbing for me over the Chrissy break, looks like ill get to watch a bit of cricket on the tellie though!

A thumb pointing at the tellies remote buttons perhaps?

PS You might want to add this incident to Ian Sedgmans (VCC) statistics* of climbing accos in Aust ...
*Checkout his report on that site; it makes interesting reading.

oweng
24/12/2004
1:38:16 PM
cheers mm,

The nitrus was great, but the doctor was telling me it has some nasty side effects if abused. I recal one of the effects was damage to the spinal cord??? So kids, say no to drugs (unless your in pain and have a doctor handy ;-).

oweng
24/12/2004
1:42:32 PM
On 24/12/2004 M8iswhereitsat wrote:
>Sorry to hear it oweng.
>
>>A Thumb Pointing South
>>Well no climbing for me over the Chrissy break, looks like ill get to
>watch a bit of cricket on the tellie though!
>
>A thumb pointing at the tellies remote buttons perhaps?
>
>PS You might want to add this incident to Ian Sedgmans (VCC) statistics*
>of climbing accos in Aust ...
>*Checkout his report on that site; it makes interesting reading.

Good idea M8, ill email the details to Ian. And yep, the tellie and books are going to get a thrashing. My noraml summer hobbies of climbing, cricket, mountain biking, and xbox are all pretty shot for a little while.

Ah well blessing in disguise, I live next to a surf beach, its about time I learned to surf.

nmonteith
24/12/2004
2:08:21 PM
Bit of bad luck eh bro! I hope it heals quick. Have a great xmas!
gfdonc
24/12/2004
3:55:05 PM
Well it's a big 'Thumbs Up' here for your speedy recovery. (heh)
Hope to hear you soon cranking double-'digit' grades. (heheh)
I trust you have come to 'grips' with the reason for your fall. (heheheh)
....

IdratherbeclimbingM9
26/12/2004
4:38:36 PM
You are bent gfdonc :)
(like a thumb pointing south! ..,. like the humour bro.)

Mattos
17/01/2005
1:52:48 PM
Geez G, it doesn't sound great and no climbing for for a few weeks, also it puts a dint in your crazy leg spin aspirations as well. X-Box minus one thumb will be challenging. If you still had your winter coat (I've had mine since the winter of '96) you may have chosen to land on your personal padding.

Look after yourself mate, will chat soon.

Matt

oweng
17/01/2005
2:16:05 PM
Thanks Matt, thumb has now progressed to an x-box acceptable standard (with a brace on). I see the butcher in the 1st week of feb, who will determine if surgery is required. I think I heard somewhere that beer and chips are excellent for repairing ligament / tendon damage (or maybe Im only hearing what I want to hear).

runnit
17/01/2005
4:19:13 PM
I stand by Guiness for a speedy recovery. I broke my arm in Feb this year and was climbing again by mid April (with some minor assistance from the plate holding imy ulna together I guess), but mainly thanks to many pints I had while I was unable to do anything fun on the weekends

Mattos
19/01/2005
9:34:15 AM
...it's a shame there is no video of the incident to post on the site

oweng
19/01/2005
12:58:18 PM
On 19/01/2005 Mattos wrote:
>...it's a shame there is no video of the incident to post on the site

Its unlikely the fall would have made it onto the site if video'd. In the video's Mike 'Tarantino' Boniwell has made of me, dogs, falls and dummy spits seem to somehow get lost in the editing!
Pietro_2003
19/01/2005
10:55:32 PM
Owen, Just read about your mishap... mega bummer! Maybe a chance to get those one armed
chin-up thingies happening.

Got to thank you again for giving us a tour of your guide book last November. Fiddlesticks was
fabulous, making the wait for Wellington to clear very worth it; every metre of it was great
climbing for us both!

By the way, did you get the beers or did the old geezer in the van parked next to you guys pocket
them :-D

Cheers,

Petter (& Cecilia)

oweng
14/03/2005
2:45:34 PM
If anyone else dislocates a thumb and finds this thread when searching for some info on recovery times, the answer is......... 12 weeks. At about 10 weeks you will be able to open a snap gate carabiner (with difficulty) but wont be able to use a cam. At 12 weeks you can do these things however there is still some tenderness, mobility loss, and weakness (thumb-forefinger pinch strength is still only 40% of the uneffected hands strength).

IdratherbeclimbingM9
14/03/2005
3:40:13 PM
Thanks for the update oweng. I was wondering how you were fairing. Gee whiz, I'll bet its been a very long 12 weeks too.
Some others who have had injuries have not got back to the forum either.
We trust they are well on the way to recovery also.

There are 17 messages in this topic.

 

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