• Broken Hand
  • NSAIDS: To Use or Not to Use
  • Hydrocele, Spermatocele and Strained Groin
  • Hand: Arthritis
  • Open-Heart Surgery
  • Osteopenia and Increasing Bone Density
  • Body: Pain Meds vs Sex
  • Appendectomy and Climbing Training
  • Body: Injury Truths
  • Body: BPA and Waterbottles
  • Body: Bouldering for Bone Density
  • Body: Chronic Injury
  • Body: Bouldering for the Bones
  • Body: Antibiotics and Tendon Damage
  • Back

  • Lumbar Bone Spurs
  • Options for Disc Herniation
  • Back: Spinal Fracture
  • Back: Preventing Hunchback
  • Back: Herniated Disc
  • Abdomen

  • Abdomen: Muscle Tear/Hernia
  • Arm

    No items found.


  • Thoracic Musculature Tightness
  • Chronic Posterior Shoulder Pain
  • Supraspinatus and Labral Tears
  • Chronic Shoulder Pain
  • Shoulder Replacement
  • Shoulder Pain
  • Exploding Shoulder
  • Shoulder: Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
  • Shoulder: SLAP Lesion and Cortisone
  • Shoulder: Frozen Shoulder
  • Shoulder: Torn Labrum, SLAP Lesion
  • Shoulder: Separation
  • Shoulder: Pain and Virus
  • Biceps

  • Bursting Biceps
  • Elbow

  • Golfer's Elbow
  • Elbow: Brachioradialis Pain
  • Tennis Elbow
  • Medial Epicondylosis Tendonitis
  • Dodgy Elbows Revisited
  • Synovial Chips
  • Quack Elbow Treatments to Avoid
  • Elbow Pain and Cortisone Use
  • Do Compression Sleeves Work?
  • Elbow: Tennis Elbow
  • Elbow: Medial Tendonosis
  • Elbow Pain and Dodgy Elbows
  • Elbow: Tendonosis
  • Elbow: Medial Epicondylosis and Taping
  • Elbow: Tingling and Numbness
  • Elbows: Minimizing Fingerboard Injuries
  • Elbow: Medial Epicondyle Tendonosis
  • Elbow: Stress Fracture
  • Elbow: Pain and Hangboarding
  • Wrist

  • TFCC Tear
  • Wrist Pain From Cleaning Routes
  • Wrist: Klienbock's Disease
  • Wrist: Ruptured Tendon
  • Snap, Crackle, Wrist
  • Wrist: Fractured Scaphoid
  • Wrist: Instability
  • Hand

  • Broken Hand
  • Hand: Hook of the Hamate Fracture
  • Fingers: Everything You Need to Know About Finger Stress
  • Hands: Dupuytren's Disease (lump in palm)
  • Hands: Numbness and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Fingers

  • Swollen Right Index Finger
  • Pinky Numbness
  • Avulsion Fracture
  • Hand: Arthritis
  • Finger Numbness
  • Fourth Metacarpal Break
  • First Pulley Strain
  • Freezing Fingers Today, Benefit Tomorrow?
  • Cysts in Fingers
  • Ruptured Finger Pulley
  • Major Finger Pain
  • Fingers: What To Do with a Ruptured Flexor Digitorum Superficialis
  • Fingers: Everything You Need to Know About Finger Stress
  • Fingers: Hyper-extended
  • Fingers: Cysts and Pain
  • Fingers: Cracked Fingertips
  • Fingers: De Quervain's Tenosynovitis
  • Fingers: NSAID Treatment
  • Fingers: Torn A2 Pulley
  • Fingers: Trigger Thumb Syndrome
  • Fingers: Stiffness, Soreness
  • Fingers: Grip Position and Injury
  • Fingers: Cortisone for Tendon Injuries
  • Fingers: Pinky Finger Pain
  • Fingers: Electrostimulation
  • Hands: Numbness and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Fingers: Taping Truths
  • Fingers: Flappers
  • Fingers: Trigger-Finger Syndrome
  • Fingers: Torn A3 and A4 Pulleys
  • Fingers: Cysts
  • Fingers: Arthritis
  • Fingers: Numbness
  • Fingers: Blown Tendons
  • Leg

  • Leg: Achilles Tendonitis
  • Leg and Knee: Broken Femur and Shattered Kneecap
  • Leg: Pulled Hamstring
  • Leg: Fracture
  • Knee

  • Outside Knee Pain: Tibiofibular Joint
  • MCL Injury
  • Blown Knees
  • Knee Tendonitis after Ankle Fusion
  • Meniscal Tear on a Drop Knee
  • Knee: Rockfall Causes Lump
  • Knee: Chondral Injury of the Lateral Tibial Plateau
  • Leg and Knee: Broken Femur and Shattered Kneecap
  • Knee: Ruptured ACL
  • Knee: Ruptured Ligament and Meniscus
  • Knee: Synovial Cartilage Damage
  • Ankle

  • Osteochondral Talus Fracture
  • Knee Tendonitis after Ankle Fusion
  • Snapped ankle tendon
  • Possible Death of the Talus Bone
  • Broken Talus Bone
  • Ankle: Loud Pop Ankle Roll
  • Feet

  • Bunions
  • Dr. J Attacks Fungal Toenails
  • Feet: Broken Foot
  • Feet: Gout and Pseudogout
  • Feet: Toe Fracture
  • Video Spotlight
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    Wrist: Instability


    A week ago I was climbing at Arapiles when I felt my wrist twinge on a hand jam. It still feels a bit tweaky and maybe slightly swollen, and it occasionally pops. I hurt it several months ago as well, though now it feels different.

    Most of the time, it's just the little-finger side that feels sore and hot. If I rotate my wrist around in a circle, it clicks - not a painful popping, but definitely noticeable. Playing with it loosens it up a little. If I squeeze my wrist, the whole thing pops, and I can feel the bone on the little-finger side lift up and pop back into place. Sometimes, it feels like everything's in line, but it always goes back to that drawn-down feeling.

    Climbing's not bothering it too much, so long as I don't do anything too hard or pull slopers.

    Marisa Field, Salt Lake City, Utah

    I had this condition many years ago. I saw a surgeon, and he said he could fuse my wrist for me - oh joy! - and he told me to stop climbing. Imagine that!

    Sounds like you have wrist instability. It will probably be diagnosed as mid-carpal instability, but there are several different types. Few physicians understand the biomechanics of the wrist, let alone under chronic heavy loading. Virtually every case I have seen has been in a climber. The instability may appear after a single traumatic event (ligament injury or bone fractures), it may be secondary to prolonged chronic overload of supporting ligaments, or it may be consequent to an underlying disease process (e.g., rheumatoid arthritis).

    The combination of these overlapping causes will result in a specific type of instability. In your case it will probably be that chronic repetitive forces of climbing combined with the previous injury have led you down the merry path of carpal mayhem.

    The most commonly damaged tissue is the triangular fibro-cartilaginous complex (TFCC) that sits between the end of your ulna and the carpal bones on that side. Damage to this, or a few neighboring ligaments, allows the ulna-side carpals to drop forward, known as ulna carpal sag. If you have to pop them back into place, then they are actually partially dislocating (subluxing).

    The click you hear when you rotate your wrist is either TFCC damage, which is now getting in the way, or the carpals on that side, having been caught in the wrong place, suddenly repositioning.

    These almost always stabilize, so don't rush to the surgeon just yet. Surgery can vary between the simple, the complex, and the experimental. 

    Routine x-rays are typically normal, though some special views, such as with a clenched fist, may be illuminating. Cinefluoroscopy (a video x-ray) will show abnormal mechanics.

    Tape is your friend. Get a professional to show you the way.

    The extensor exercises described in Medicine No. 156 are a good idea. Though no muscles attach to the relevant carpal bones, strength clearly plays a crucial role in stability.

    Slopers will be very aggravating. Crimping should be fine, but don't overdo it. Mix up your training.


    Wrist Fracture

    Hands Dupuytren's Disease

    Hand Numbness

    Elbows and Wrist, Tendonosis and Tendonitis

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