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Connective tissue adaptations in the fingers of performance sport climbers


Schreiber, Tonja; Allenspach, Philippe; Seifert, Burkhardt; Schweizer, Andreas (2015). Connective tissue adaptations in the fingers of performance sport climbers. European Journal of Sport Science, 15(8):696-702.

Abstract

This study investigates the changes of the connective tissue in the fingers of performance sport climbers resulting after a minimum of 15 years of climbing. Evaluation was performed by ultrasonography on the palmar side of the fingers (Dig) II-V to measure the thickness of the A2 and A4 annular pulleys, the flexor digitorum superficialis (FDS) and profundus (FDP) tendons and the palmar plates (PP's) of the proximal interphalangeal (PIP) as well as distal interphalangeal (DIP) joint in sagittal and axial direction. Totally, 31 experienced male sport climbers (mean age 37y, 30-48y grade French scale median 8b, range 7b+ to 9a+) participated in the study. The control-group consisted of 20 male non-climbers (age 37y, 30-51y). The A2 and A4 pulleys in climbers were all significantly thicker (A2 Dig III 62%, Dig IV 69%; A4 Dig III 69%, Dig IV 76%) as compared to non-climbers pulleys. All PP's of the DIP joints were also significantly thicker, particularly at Dig III and IV (76 and 67%), whereas the PP's at PIP joints were only scarce significant for three joints. Differences of the diameter of the flexor tendons were less distinct (1-21%) being significant only over the middle phalanx. High load to the fingers of rock climbers after a minimum of 15 years of climbing years induced considerable connective tissue adaptions in the fingers, most distinct at the flexor tendon pulleys and joint capsule (PP) of the DIP joints and well detectable by ultrasound.

Abstract

This study investigates the changes of the connective tissue in the fingers of performance sport climbers resulting after a minimum of 15 years of climbing. Evaluation was performed by ultrasonography on the palmar side of the fingers (Dig) II-V to measure the thickness of the A2 and A4 annular pulleys, the flexor digitorum superficialis (FDS) and profundus (FDP) tendons and the palmar plates (PP's) of the proximal interphalangeal (PIP) as well as distal interphalangeal (DIP) joint in sagittal and axial direction. Totally, 31 experienced male sport climbers (mean age 37y, 30-48y grade French scale median 8b, range 7b+ to 9a+) participated in the study. The control-group consisted of 20 male non-climbers (age 37y, 30-51y). The A2 and A4 pulleys in climbers were all significantly thicker (A2 Dig III 62%, Dig IV 69%; A4 Dig III 69%, Dig IV 76%) as compared to non-climbers pulleys. All PP's of the DIP joints were also significantly thicker, particularly at Dig III and IV (76 and 67%), whereas the PP's at PIP joints were only scarce significant for three joints. Differences of the diameter of the flexor tendons were less distinct (1-21%) being significant only over the middle phalanx. High load to the fingers of rock climbers after a minimum of 15 years of climbing years induced considerable connective tissue adaptions in the fingers, most distinct at the flexor tendon pulleys and joint capsule (PP) of the DIP joints and well detectable by ultrasound.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Balgrist University Hospital, Swiss Spinal Cord Injury Center
04 Faculty of Medicine > Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Prevention Institute (EBPI)
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:German
Date:12 August 2015
Deposited On:16 Oct 2015 08:46
Last Modified:08 Dec 2017 14:21
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN:1536-7290
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1080/17461391.2015.1048747
PubMed ID:26267120

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