Long term evolution of soft tissue response in the fingers of high-level sport climbers: A cross-sectional 10 Year follow-up study.

Fröhlich, Stefan; Schweizer, Andreas; Reissner, Lisa; Pastor, Tatjana; Spörri, Jörg; Pastor, Torsten (2021). Long term evolution of soft tissue response in the fingers of high-level sport climbers: A cross-sectional 10 Year follow-up study. Physical therapy in sport, 52, pp. 173-179. Elsevier 10.1016/j.ptsp.2021.09.006

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BACKGROUND

Sport climbing induces physiological changes in the body of high-level climbers. In 2012, our study group demonstrated adaptions of elite climbers' soft tissues with thicker A2/A4-pulleys, flexor tendons and palmar plates compared to non-climbers.

OBJECTIVES

To assess these adaptations over time we examined all 31 (follow up 100%) climbers that participated in that baseline study again using ultrasonography after a follow-up of 10 years.

MAIN FINDINGS

(1) In climbers, a significant increase in A2 and A4-pulley and flexor tendon thickness over the last 10 years was observed (p < 0.001), while PIP&DIP palmar plate thickness remained unchanged (p > 0.05); (2) at 10-years follow-up, all soft tissue thickness parameters (incl. palmar plates) were still significantly larger in climbers than in age-matched controls (p < 0.05); (3) as for the association with anthropometrics and climbing performance/experience, a significant association of the current climber's soft tissue thickness could only be found between palmar plate and reached climbing level(p = 0.032) as well as climber's body weight(p = 0.004).

CONCLUSION

An accumulation of repetitive climbing-related stress to the fingers of elite sport climbers over the career induces mechano-adaptation of the A2/A4-pulleys, flexor tendons and palmar plates. At later stages, there is a further significant increase in flexor tendon and pulley thickness, but not for palmar plate thickness.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Orthopaedic, Plastic and Hand Surgery (DOPH) > Clinic of Plastic and Hand Surgery > Hand Surgery
04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Orthopaedic, Plastic and Hand Surgery (DOPH) > Clinic of Plastic and Hand Surgery

UniBE Contributor:

Pastor, Tatjana

Subjects:

600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health

ISSN:

1873-1600

Publisher:

Elsevier

Language:

English

Submitter:

Veronika Picha

Date Deposited:

04 Jan 2022 10:41

Last Modified:

04 Jan 2022 10:53

Publisher DOI:

10.1016/j.ptsp.2021.09.006

PubMed ID:

34547601

Uncontrolled Keywords:

Athletes Connective tissue Finger joint Overuse

BORIS DOI:

10.48350/162356

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/162356

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