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 Page 1 of 4. Messages 1 to 20 | 21 to 40 | 41 to 60 | 61 to 74
Complete rupture of A2 pulley
1:29:05 PM
Right. I'm told I've completely ruptured my A2 pulley in my left ring finger. Yay. Any of you done the same? Did you go for surgery or other? I will be seeing specialists but keen to hear results of others who've had the same thing...
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1:45:35 PM
That sounds bloody awful! Does that mean that the tendon hangs straight when you bend the finger? As in what they call bowstringing?

I've done that tendon several times, but presumably not completely as it didn't bowstring, but as i also didn't see anyone about them, i could have done anything and they fixed themselves by pure luck. I just did rest, ice, massage (with arnica, comfrey and voltarin at various stages) and conservative climbing.

Hope it turns out ok for you.
1:53:16 PM
Hi Wendy,

Yes that's what it means. The ultrasound folk were thrilled with what they got to see and merrily told me the surgeons will be very interested. Glad I could provide the entertainment haha. In the climbing world it is relatively common, I believe.

I'm keen to find out about pros and cons of opting for surgery or nonsurgery based on the experience of others before the experts start telling me my fate.

2:10:32 PM
>The ultrasound folk were thrilled with what
>they got to see and merrily told me the surgeons will be very interested.
> Glad I could provide the entertainment haha.

They didn't get to hear the alarming sounds it made ;-)
2:37:01 PM

I don't know if mine was a complete rupture of the A2 as I didn't get an ultrasound, but when 'it' went 'it' made a horrible squelching noise. My finger became very puffy as a result of the injury. From memory I didn't climb for ~3months. As Wendy said, I iced, and Voltarened. When I came back to climbing I taped the entire finger and climbed a lot of open hand/big jug climbs. All the best with your recovery
3:52:02 PM
thanks jdb :-)
3:52:41 PM
I forget which way the pulleys are numbered. Is the A2 the one at the second knuckle, working back from the fingertip?

If so, no.

I popped the next pulley back (inside my hand) about 3 years ago. It made a loud 'pop' and didn't hurt too much at first, then swelled up. I was supposed to avoid bending my hand as much as possible, but went climbing about a week later with tape around it. Due to a navigational error I ended up leading the 3rd pitch of Judgement Day, the hand-traverse was probably the worst thing I could have done to aggravate the injury but it seemed to heal OK without further treatment.
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4:08:09 PM
I was under the impression that complete ruptures were a lot worse than tears and needed surgery. It kind of makes sense that if it is bowstringing (a give away sign that I haven't had the displeasure of seeing before), then the tendon that runs the length of the finger (which is normally held in by the pulley tendons) is no longer enclosed by the pulley tendons and thus they are not going to be able to heal themselves back into place. I could draw a Mikl like diagram of it in paint if you like, but I suspect Jacqui has already had this bad news explained to her. I also have this vague recollection that when the pulley is completely ruptured, the finger will be much weaker - ie a torn pulley can still pull a bit although it hurt, a ruptured pulley can not pull anywhere near as much.

Sorry to hear it's bowstringing, Jacqui! Let us know how it goes.

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4:46:54 PM
On 26/05/2011 gfdonc wrote:
>I forget which way the pulleys are numbered. Is the A2 the one at the second knuckle, working back from the fingertip?

Visual aid:

Partial vs full tear:

Both from

You can see the bowstring quite well in this one (regardless of the taping):

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4:59:44 PM
That makes me cringe, Andrew.

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5:11:12 PM
There's a dissection of a hand floating around on here somewhere...
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5:36:24 PM
I could deal with the dissection, it's the thought of having that injury that is making me cringe! I've got a lot of sympathy for Jacqui right now!
6:42:50 PM
That sucks jac but don't lose heart.
I ruptured my A2 just over 12 months ago and managed a full recovery without taking any time off climbing, bowstringing and all. I learnt a new taping method that has recently been developed by the authors of the book 'One move too many' - check out this link to the article:
Taping in this way provides excellent support to the finger in crimped and half-crimped positions as well as open-hand. Over time the other pulleys develop the additional strength needed to compensate for the ruptured one.
6:48:20 PM
good to know steve - so i gather you opted out of surgery?

7:11:48 PM
I've also 'popped' my A2 pulley - you might have even been there Jaq? It was up at the Gallery on one of those miserable winter days. The sound of it going echoed around the cave. I don't think I broke the whole thing - I don't remember massive bowstring but it did swell up badly and i couldn't climb anything harder than 20 for at least 3 months. Took ages to heal and i had to have it massively taped up for at least 6 months after I did it. I didnt seek any proper medical advice and just let it self heal.

7:39:42 PM
My advice would be to let it heal naturally, with heaps of rest and taking it easy for 10 -15 weeks, ( if you can). Often these types of injuries will heal stronger than they were before. If this is not the case then you can always get surgery later. See what your body has to offer first.

8:00:49 PM
On 26/05/2011 climbingjac wrote:
>I've completely ruptured my A2 pulley in my left ring finger.

That is a bugger.

Would wearing a wedding ring as a splint help it heal?

salty crag
8:00:55 PM
Mine was two very loud sharp "cracks", no initial pain, both fingers must have been partial tears as I had no bowstringing. Kept climbing but only jugs and slopers on affected hand. All good 12 months later. I read a Dan McLeod article on pulley injuries and followed his advice, seemed to work for me but no two injuries are the same. Problem I find with climbing injuries is finding med/physio who have any idea at all on how to help.
8:45:24 PM
Hmm I wonder if there is any merit in having it taped during the healing process... to hold the tendon closer to the bone and encourage the scar tissue to form accordingly......
9:01:47 PM
Don't bother with the surgeons for single pulley ruptures. No need for an operation, so save your $180 and just treat it conservatively. As said above the David McLeod website is a good source of info. PM me your email address if youre interested in reading a few medical journal articles on pulley ruptures, and their treatment in climbers.

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There are 74 messages in this topic.


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