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torn pinky pulley
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By Bill Kryst
Jan 12, 2013

A few days ago, I tore my a2 pulley in my pinky finger. I believe it is only partially torn because I don't notice a bow stringing effect. I am not sure whether I heard it or felt it, but it felt like a high pitched snapping/popping sensation followed by a weird tingly numb feeling. Either way, I would like to continue climbing as soon as possible.

It seems plausible (once I can do every day activities without irritating it) to somehow splint it off and climb on my other three fingers. Has anyone had any experience with this? Any advice would be much appreciated. Thanks!

some background info - mostly interested in sport climbing. I don't do much trad or bouldering. I was climbing around 12+/13-ish at the time of injury.


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By WMcD
Jan 12, 2013

I suffered this same injury several years ago. I think its pretty rare to blow a pulley in the pinky. I've never heard of it happening to anyone else until now.

Good news: I had considerable success climbing with my pinky taped to a tongue depressor.

I was able to splint my finger and very carefully enjoy pocketed 5.10 climbing in Mexico only a couple weeks after the injury. Like all pulley injuries, it still took a long time to heal. I had to take it easy for probably eight months before I trusted it for steep bouldering or tweaky moves.

Start slow and climb on toprope. Don't forget that the top priority is not retweaking your finger.


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By Bill Kryst
Jan 12, 2013

Awesome news! I have never heard of anyone else having a pinky injury either. It was just a weird position and handhold where I was able to get surprisingly good purchase off of my pinky, better than my other fingers.

Did you tape the tongue depressor exclusively to your finger? Or did you have it running down the side of your hand, taping it off around your hand as well (to prevent any pinky movement)?


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By Tradoholic
Jan 12, 2013

Funny, I blew out my pinky too. I climbed like I was holding a tea cup at a fancy tea party for 6 months. No splint because the stiff finger would get in the way but I did wrap it in some tape so it wouldn't contract all the way.


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By WMcD
Jan 13, 2013

I think I taped the tongue depressor to the front (and maybe also the back) of my pinky. The fancy tea party method probably works, but I don't trust myself not to get gripped and instinctively bear down with that finger. The splint certainly got in the way, but it beat not climbing. I imagine it'd work fine for enduro gym sessions on jugs.


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