Radiographic osteoarthritis in the hands of rock climbers

Am J Orthop (Belle Mead NJ). 1998 Nov;27(11):734-8.


Sixty-five rock climbers were radiographically evaluated for osteoarthritis of the finger joints. Only long-time climbers were chosen for this study. The average years of climbing experience of these subjects was 19.8 (range, 8 to 39). The majority of the subjects had climbed at an elite level for many years. Plain radiographs of the hands were scored using the Kellgren-Lawrence scale and were compared with scores of an age-matched control group. An increased rate of osteoarthritis for several joints was found in the climber group; however, no significant difference in the overall prevalence of osteoarthritis was found between the two groups.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Female
  • Finger Joint*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mountaineering*
  • Osteoarthritis / classification
  • Osteoarthritis / diagnostic imaging*
  • Osteoarthritis / etiology*
  • Prevalence
  • Radiography
  • Risk Factors
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Time Factors