Newswise — In 2017, an estimated 7.1 million people in the united states participated in rock climbing, which has risen markedly from 4.3 million in 2010. The sport was once only popular among outdoor enthusiasts, adventure junkies, and elite competition athletes who began to build the first indoor rock-climbing gyms in the 1980s. In recent years, however, an explosion of indoor climbing gyms has occurred with a 10% increase in the number of climbing gyms in 2015 alone. This increased ease of access has led to a new wave of recreationalists seeking an alternative form of exercise causing the sport to flourish. Growth and exposure is only expected to increase with rock climbing’s Olympic debut at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan.

Andrew Rosenbaum, MD, FAAOS, director of orthopaedic research at Albany Medical Center and AAOS spokesperson, is available to speak about the most common orthopaedic rock-climbing injuries and ways to maintain proper bone and joint health while enjoying the sport.

His research “Comprehensive Review of Rock-Climbing Injuries” is poised for publication in the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (JAAOS) and reveals the following:

  • Nineteen percent to 33% of injuries are from chronic overuse, 28% are acute atraumatic from supraphysiologic loading, and 10% to 39% are acute traumatic as a result from a fall from height or rockfall.
  • Only 0.6% of injuries have been reported be-cause of equipment failure.
  • Of 975 injuries, 37.6% were evaluated primarily or referred to an orthopaedic surgeon and 43% of those underwent surgical intervention.

To effectively understand these injuries, understanding the environmental risks inherent to the sport is necessary. Dr. Rosenbaum’s expertise lends insight into diagnosis, treatment, and return-to-play of the rock-climbing athlete.

To learn more or to schedule an interview with Dr. Rosenbaum, contact Deanna Killackey at 847.384.4035 or killackey@aaos.org.

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