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Climbing With Screws in Ones Arm

Original Post
Shane Zentner · · Colorado · Joined Nov 2001 · Points: 205


I recently crashed on my longboard and am recovering with 16 screws and two plates in my forearm. I am wondering about the future of my climbing as I seriously jacked my arm pretty bad. That said, I broke my ankle in June from longboarding as well. Needless to say, I am taking a break from skating, yet, climbing is in my sights when I'm recovered. 

Question. Do people climb with hardware in their limbs, and, if so, are there limitations? This is new to me, so please respond with answers I can use.

Thank you.

PatMas · · Tulsa, OK · Joined Jan 2017 · Points: 0

I’ve got 8 screws holding my shoulder together and I still climb just fine. Some day hurt, but it’s mostly all good. Do the Physical therapy the doctor tells you to, and you’ll be back on the wall in no time!

· · Unknown Hometown · Joined unknown · Points: 0

If you have screws in your body you are now always climbing aid.

Pat A · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2013 · Points: 20

Yeah do the PT it will make a big difference if you did it right, even years later. I have a plate and 11 screws in my forearm from an accident about 10 years ago. I've been climbing for 5 years with no issues. I don't even notice it anymore but It did take a long time to get to that point. 

shredward · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 0

Broke my arm skating the same day I bought my first harness like 4 years ago.  I have 9 pieces of assorted titanium in my wrist.  Climbing was great PT for me, as I could hang and do a pull-up within 3 months of the injury, but couldn't do a push-up for a year.  It probably helped that I was just getting into climbing, so climbing sub 5.10 outside.  I think your body can also naturally limit how much you use an injured area when climbing and gradually build that strength up.  I have climbed a good amount since then and the screws/ plates have never bothered me.

Jim Fox · · Westminster, CO · Joined Jun 2014 · Points: 50

I had a partial knee replacement in March. Couldn't climb well early this summer (partly psychological) but doing great now and don't even give it much thought

Chris · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2012 · Points: 145

I have six screws, a pin, and a plate in my right elbow from a fall about 9 years ago. I finished PT on a Wednesday and was leading outdoors that Saturday. Within a year or so I was back at full strength. Just take it easy at the beginning knowing that your strength will be low to start. Bring some "vitamin I" for the end of each day. Gives you a good chance to focus on technique while your strength rebuilds. 

Kerstin · · Corvallis, OR · Joined Nov 2013 · Points: 40

 So I have 3 metal plates (2 at elbow, 1 at wrist) and I think around 20 screws in my left arm, and it climbs just fine three year later. I had some issues the first six months, but they were really minor after recovering from the injury (stretched nerves), regaining muscle and flexibity, and a bit of a psychological issue about falling again. Seriously the only things I can think of are that my wrist would look funny when I got pumped and once  my elbow hurt a little for a few days from suddenly taking my body weight (duh).  The awesome thing about hardwear is you heal really well. 

trevor stuart · · Aurora, Colorado · Joined Mar 2014 · Points: 105

Dislocated radius, open ulna fracture. Climbs the same as it did before. Only change is that it’s now annoying to rest my forearm on tables and if I slam that part of my arm it bruises easier. 

Shane Zentner · · Colorado · Joined Nov 2001 · Points: 205

Thank you! All replies are great and appreciated.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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