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broken 4th and 5th metacarpals
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decemberlost


Oct 20, 2011, 9:34 AM
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Registered: Oct 20, 2011
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broken 4th and 5th metacarpals
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Hey all, I'm new here, so hello first of all!!

Well I had an interesting weekend to say the least...

I was climbing in Tahquitz (idyllwild, CA) Saturday...end of the day...decided to do one last short climb for the day. Got to the stopping point (about 80 ft up) and heard a voice from the top (600 ft up) yell "rock!" and all of the sudden a rock shower that was traveling at full velocity came down towards me and my climbing partner. Sounded like bullets whizzing by our heads for about a minute. One of the boulders popped off the wall and was coming straight for my head and I put my hand up to block it and it broke it immediately. It was really scary. There were rocks that were as big as our heads screaming past us. Easily could have been a much worse outcome. Thank God I only broke my hand and not my skull...or worse....

Anyways, the doc said I have a "buckle fracture" on the pinky metacarpal and a "complete break" on my ring finger metacarpal. No surgery necessary (thank God!) but I do have a cast for the next four weeks.

Anyone else broken there hand in a similar way and gone back to climbing? How long til you got back to normal strength? Any tips for re-strengthening once I get the cast off? Should I keep working out my right side (i.e. one arm pull ups, etc)? Or should I just take a 4 week break? Thanks!


damienclimber


Oct 20, 2011, 2:38 PM
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Registered: Jul 13, 2011
Posts: 313

Re: [decemberlost] broken 4th and 5th metacarpals [In reply to]
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decemberlost wrote:
Hey all, I'm new here, so hello first of all!!

Well I had an interesting weekend to say the least...

I was climbing in Tahquitz (idyllwild, CA) Saturday...end of the day...decided to do one last short climb for the day. Got to the stopping point (about 80 ft up) and heard a voice from the top (600 ft up) yell "rock!" and all of the sudden a rock shower that was traveling at full velocity came down towards me and my climbing partner. Sounded like bullets whizzing by our heads for about a minute. One of the boulders popped off the wall and was coming straight for my head and I put my hand up to block it and it broke it immediately. It was really scary. There were rocks that were as big as our heads screaming past us. Easily could have been a much worse outcome. Thank God I only broke my hand and not my skull...or worse....

Anyways, the doc said I have a "buckle fracture" on the pinky metacarpal and a "complete break" on my ring finger metacarpal. No surgery necessary (thank God!) but I do have a cast for the next four weeks.

Anyone else broken there hand in a similar way and gone back to climbing? How long til you got back to normal strength? Any tips for re-strengthening once I get the cast off? Should I keep working out my right side (i.e. one arm pull ups, etc)? Or should I just take a 4 week break? Thanks!


You were extremely lucky!
I have climbed a fair amount at Taquitz, and I feel the lure as well.
Rock falls from 600 feet will kill you.

As far as your recovery:
I would try not use your broken arm until after the cast is off.
You can still climb, do cardio and use the other arm for balance.
I would say no to one arm pullups, or ask your doctor.


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