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A4 pulley injury "pop"
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By Max Bechdel
From Bozeman, MT
Aug 21, 2013
hello im david conroy

Seems like a lot of these threads, but I'm making my own.

I climbed my project, no injury, then toproped it and didn't re-warmup and climbed like a fool, pulled on a crimp and a loud pop happened. No real pain until that evening. Now it's sore/weak/stiff. Looks like it's my A4 pulley on my ring finger.

From what I've seen the general consensus is:
-ice first few days after accident
-stop ibuprofen after a few days
-don't climb until the pain is gone (2-10 weeks)
-once it doesn't hurt maybe wait another 1-2 weeks before climbing
-climb very easy stuff and take it slow
-climb smart, eat well, drink lots, sleep+++, do other stuff

Does the above sound like a good plan?

Okay, now for the lame part, my job revolves around typing on a keyboard everyday. There is a little pain typing this up right now, should I not be typing?


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By dss
Aug 21, 2013

Unfortunately, your situation is far from unique. I'd been climbing for only a few weeks when I got on a V2 that finished on a two-fingered pocket. Not a good idea to stress tendons new to climbing like that but what did I know at the time? Although I didn't hear a pop, I did feel a burning sensation and it soon became apparent that this wasn't a normal response, so I bagged it for the day. Stupidly, I repeated the same move on the same problem a week later (no pain in the interim), which resulted in a definite A2 pulley injury to my ring finger.

I'd been reading Eric Hörst's Training for Climbing and followed his advice regarding injuries (which largely corresponds to what you've specified, except that he also mentions taping--the jury's still out on that) and although I've had minor recurrences of tendon issues (as is the case with most climbers who push themselves much beyond even "moderate" routes), I can currently pull with any of my digits without significant pain. I also have a somewhat keyboard-dependent job (sometimes it's good to have ten fingers)...In general, if it hurts, don't do it.

When you say it audibly popped, did it bowstring? Even if it didn't, you may have actually torm it or the C1. There are certainly microtears, but if a tendon is actually severed, you'll need surgery (and a lot longer recovery period). I'd consult a doc (preferably a specialist in sports med) and get some professional advice and a possible exam, just to make sure you don't aggravate the injury--it's much better to take some time off and be very careful when and how you return to climbing than to risk a chronic condition. Good luck!


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By lucander
From Stone Ridge, NY
Aug 21, 2013
Lucander off the GT Ledge on p. 2 of Keep on Struttin.

Scroll around, I've had a really similar injury since April. Just started climbing easy stuff this month. Been typing the whole time. In fact, it's probably one of the best things that's happened to my career.


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By Woodchuck ATC
Aug 21, 2013
Rock Wars, RRG, 2008

Yes, several stories over the years posted here about pully tendon 'pops'. When mine went off on a hollow empty echo-chamber of a barn while climbing,,it sounded like a dam gun went off. Blew up, curled in, and finger was shot for any climbs for over 7 months, long rehab for sure..NOW I tape it no matter what I climb just to be sure. Best of luck!


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By Nodin deSaillan
From Boulder
Aug 21, 2013
another day in RMNP

did the same, just my middle finger. It was a solid three months before I was back climbing rock/plastic (thankfully it was winter and gripping an ice tool was fine).

I religiously iced it daily and went to PT. Power putty works miracles- get the stiffest stuff.

Once I was back to climbing I taped above and below the joint and buddy wrapped to index finger- for you the middle.

All is well now, though I still buddy-wrap.clipping/pacing pro is a pain, but I find the support of tape to be worth it.

Good luck!


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By Max Bechdel
From Bozeman, MT
Aug 21, 2013
hello im david conroy

Sorry I misread the images, it's my A4 pulley, at least it feels like that area in my finger.

I don't think it was a full rupture, doesn't seem to bowtstring, it's swollen right now so kind of hard to tell.

@dss I'll checkout Eric Horst's site, and yea it was a loud pop. I thought it was my elbow at first, then my finger felt weird...

@lucander good for your career because you weren't out climbing all the time or the movement of typing helped your finger?

@Woodchuck GNARLY, my tendon didn't pop off the finger...fuck that would hurt. I'm hopefully thinking i just tore the A4 pulley and all I'll need it a few months before gradually climbing again.

@Nodin religiously iced for how long?


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By Ryan Palo
From Bend, oregon
Aug 21, 2013
Me

Im a fan of climbinginjuries.com/fingers-pulleys/


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By Nodin deSaillan
From Boulder
Aug 21, 2013
another day in RMNP

Max, I continued to ice it daily for two months.
I would usually do a power-putty workout and then ice it afterwards (my PT recommended this.
When I began climbing again, I would ice it after each session which I found to be really helpful.


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By Max Bechdel
From Bozeman, MT
Aug 21, 2013
hello im david conroy

left ring A4
left ring A4

for what it's worth here is, my left ring A4, day after injury.


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