I would like to know the steps the body takes to heal a broken bone and what happens if it cannot heal properly. I am not looking for advice or explanations on resting and not doing activity, I am genuinely interested in understanding the outcome if activity is not stopped
Here is the scenario:
A rock climber develops a pain in the lower part of their middle finger. The pain is not so bad so the climber continues to climb for four weeks, but the pain has not gone away. The climber decides to go to the doctor fearing they have an A2 Pulley tear.
To their surprise the Doctors tests show no A2 pulley tear but rather a minor stress fracture of the Proximal Phalanx. The doctor says stop climbing, however the climber has several trips planned and does not experience any pain while climbing nor a loss of strength or power while climbing. The only time pain is felt is when the lower part of the middle finger is squeezed. Because of this the climber decides to continue climbing as they just love it so much.
Question: What will happen to a stress fracture in the finger if adequate rest is not given?
I understand the first thing the body does is try to stabilize the break and then starts to repair. What happens if it is continually used and not given the chance to properly heal? Will the climber just have a sore spot on their finger for the rest of their life or will it progressively get worse and worse?