Gabl VM, Lener M, Pechlanner S, et al [ Universitatsklinik fur Unfallchirurgie, Innsbruck, Germany; Institut fur Magnetresonanztomographie und Spektroskopie, Innsbruck, Germany]
Closed Traumatic Rupture or Overuse Syndrome of the Flexor Tendon Pulleys? Early Diagnosis by MRI [German]
Handchir Microchir Plast Chir 28: 317-321, 1996
This study examines the efficacy of MRI for the diagnosis of closed injuries to the flexor tendon pulleys.
18 rock climbers with recent injuries were studied. 8 [overuse injuries] were treated conservatively along with [short pulley ruptures]. 2 patients with long pulley ruptures were operated [tendon grafting]. They were followed up for 36 months.
An MRI was done in all cases for diagnosis. Bowstringing or flexion contracture after treatment was not clinically detectable in any patient. All but 1 patient had nearly normal range of movement. Lasting swelling was the only clinical feature of partial instability. MRI was able to detect minor bowstringing and scars in most patients.
They conclude that MRI was useful in detecting the presence and extent of pulley injury.