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A4 pulley injury in pinky finger


Original Post
Iain McCrory · · Minneapolis · Joined Jan 2017 · Points: 0

So I went back at least two years in this forum and have looked all over online, but couldn't really find an answer to a question I have. I hurt my a4 in my pinky finger on my right hand over a week ago now and am wondering if it is a bad idea to only climb easy routes and not use my pinky to try and stay in shape (climbing trips coming up in January and February). I feel like it would be easy to not engage my pinky at all while doing laps on a 5.7 or 8 while it heals, or even an easier hangboard routine, but I want to make sure I am not doing anything stupid as this is my first pulley/tendon injury.  I can open and close my hand with no pain now, but it still hurts with a lot of pressure and is tender when I massage it.

Thanks, Iain

Tony Bob · · Lakewood · Joined Apr 2015 · Points: 60

What did you find out about this? I just ruptured the a4 on my rt. ring finger and was considering taping the hell out of it so I don't use it and just doing some light climbing until it heals up.

Jon Rhoderick · · Redmond, OR · Joined Jul 2009 · Points: 865

I have some sort of A4 middle finger sprain or tear right now. Did you guys hurt yours on crimps? That’s how I did mine but the mechanism doesn’t quite add up to the injury in my opinion. Crimping should not strain the A4, that load goes to A2. Anyway, open handing seems better, best to get to some light climbing after the initial inflammatory stage

Jon Rhoderick · · Redmond, OR · Joined Jul 2009 · Points: 865

Climbing with tape to discourage that finger is certainly appropriate IMO

Iain McCrory · · Minneapolis · Joined Jan 2017 · Points: 0
Tony Bob wrote:

What did you find out about this? I just ruptured the a4 on my rt. ring finger and was considering taping the hell out of it so I don't use it and just doing some light climbing until it heals up.

I am about to tell you what you will read everywhere else on the internet...do not climb on it for awhile, especially if you truly ruptured your A4. I was able to keep climbing, but that is because it was my pinky and was pretty easy not to use. My recovery process was almost 4 months, but i also tweaked twice after the intial injury (once climbing, once at work). I initally taped my finger for at least a week so i would stop using it in everyday life.The biggest things i found to aid my recovery was doing tendon glides and excercises with theraputty. You need true rest at the start, but slightly aggravating your finger is the best way to have it heal. Both of these excercise not only help heal, but help you gage where your finger is at in the process. I wouldn't start even easy climbing until you can comfortably do exercises (no pain, but may feel sore/tired) with firm putty or maaaaybe medium putty. Everything really depends on the severity of it. I also tweaked my a2 in my middle finger on my other hand way later in the winter, didnt climbing for 2.5 weeks while doing exercises and mellow climbing for 1.5 weeks after and is pretty much good. I am still taping both fingers and trying to avoid tweaky holds and not climbing near my limit right now. It is hard to describe, they both still just feel tired or achey once in awhile after or during climbing, but never in pain or like i am harming them. 


Wow sorry this is a lot, but i hope it helps somewhat. Oh yeah i also heard of people using/finding success using rubber bands too. 

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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