Previous injury as a risk factor for reinjury in rock climbing: a secondary analysis of data from a retrospective cross-sectional cohort survey of active rock climbers
Jones, G.; Llewellyn, D.; Johnson, M.I.
BMJ Open Sport and Exercise Medicine 1(1): 1-5
The aim of this article is to report the findings of a secondary analysis of a previous injury study to consider previous injury as a risk factor for reinjury in rock climbing. We completed a secondary analysis of 201 questionnaires that were gathered as part of a retrospective cross-sectional cohort survey that investigated the epidemiology of injuries in a representative sample of British rock climbers. Participants had actively engaged in rock climbing over the previous 12-month period and were recruited from six indoor climbing centres and five outdoor climbing venues (men n=163, mean±SD, age=35.2±11.8 years, participating in rock climbing=13.88+11.77 years; women n=38, mean±SD, age=35.1±10.7 years, participating in rock climbing=11.62+9.19 years). Of the 101 participants who sustained a previous injury, 36 were found to have sustained at least one reinjury. The total number of reinjuries was 82, with the average probability of sustaining at least one reinjury being 35.6% (95% CI 34.71% to 36.8%; p<0.001, McNemar's χ<sup>2</sup> test) with the relative risk of reinjury being 1.55 (95% CI 1.34 to 1.80). The fingers were the most common site of reinjury (12 participants, 26%; χ<sup>2</sup>=43.12, df=5, p<0.001). Previous injury was found to be a significant risk factor for reinjury, particularly at the site of the fingers. Technical difficulty in bouldering and sport climbing behaviours were significantly associated with repetitive overuse reinjury. As participatory figures increase, so does the likelihood that a high proportion of climbers may sustain a reinjury of the upper extremity.