/ A4 Pulley, loud POP noise

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Terry James Walker - on 21 May 2012
A4 pulley gone i think. Went about 3 hours ago. Made a very loud pop while I was cranking on an open hand crimp (hence A4 not A2), now hurts when resisting movements at top joint. Doesn't really hurt to poke and prod.

Smashed 600g of Ibuprofen and have been icing it for a couple of 15 min cycles.

Do I: tape it to finger next to it and completely avoid movements for the next week or so? Or keep it mobile? When start massage? etc etc

Any expertise very welcome, please try and make it scientific/medical though.

thermal_t - on 21 May 2012
In reply to Terry Walker: Ouch...not much to help you myself but this article by Dave Macleod seems to be pretty comprehensive


Good luck!
KA_R36 on 21 May 2012
In reply to Terry Walker:
agree with above

have done A4 pulleys on both little fingers - they will get better but it will take time.

Initially rest. Use Dave MacLeod method. Then don't climb without taping for weeks if not months, as it will take months to heal. Did my last one before Christmas - still some slight swelling of my left little finger middle phalanx pulp - although been climbing fine for months!
Baron Weasel - on 22 May 2012
In reply to Terry Walker: Did my A2 pulley about 10 years ago and had to take 3 monthes off (loud pop sound too), couldn't even lift a bag of shopping with that arm for several weeks. Take it super easy and don't let painkillers mask the problem as you'll just delay recovery. If it's any consolation I am facing a similar issue with my elbow after highlining and climbing

The Baron
robert mirfin - on 22 May 2012
In reply to Terry Walker: I did this to my finger a couple of years back . It probably depends on the severity of the tear in the pulley. Mine made an audible crack/thud noise that reverberated through the plywood panel, I was two clips up and my belayer heard it, I thought the hold I was pulling on had moved then felt a pain in my hand. I thought I'd be off for weeks but I seeked advice and tried it. I initially rested it for probably 2 weeks and Iced it frequently for the first few days. I then started climbing on it on selected hold types that didn't make it hurt or feel wierd and also taped it everytime I climbed for probably months.It would sometimes feel slightly sore after climbing but with enough rest days in between sessions, at least 2 it had time to heal and get stronger. Just be careful and sensible and you should be ok. I think Dave Mcleod has some good advice on his blog somewhere.
Terry James Walker - on 22 May 2012
In reply to robert mirfin: Excellent advice people thanks.

Good to know that others have had equally loud pops and it wasn't a complete tear/rupture as I initially thought. Mine sounded like a clap of hands together with moderate force. Disgusting. So will keep icing and completely not moving for a few days and see what happens.
luke obrien - on 22 May 2012
In reply to Terry Walker: Mine went about 6months ago (loud pop from a Crimpy pocket). I did the McLeod icing and a bit of ibuprofen. After a week or two's rest I started doing really gentle gripping of a soft stress ball to keep the movement and blood flow (never making it hurt). Then I started back on open handed traverses etc for a month or so with the finger taped up (more as a reminder that it was injured) and avoided anything like a crimp'. Then gradually started back on the normal stuff backing off whenever there was any pain. It worked ok for me because I managed to keep on climbing and improved my stamina. Good luck wit it.
najki_2000 - on 22 May 2012
In reply to Terry Walker:
I ve had two in last year alone. First time a loud crack (like when a twig snaps) in a2 middle finger. Had to take 4 weeks off as even jugs were causing pain (as they normally press on that area). Started slowly after that with at least 2-3 days between sessions, gradually increasing grade, trying harder but when it started to hurt went back to easier grade for couple of routes. Kept icing in the evenings and exercising the finger (stretches) whenever I had nothing to do with my hands, massaging etc. always taping for climbing...took about another month till it was almost ok and was climbing probably even better after another month. Second time similar loud pop (was about 3 meters above the ground and belayer thought it was my elbow clicking!) - this time a4 on ring finger same hand. Did similar stuff as before but only taking 2 weeks off and it was quickly back to normal. I think it quite depends which finger is involved - if it had been my little one I wouldnt probably even notice as I dont use it at all. Both injuries changed my attitude to crimping though - I definitely dont crimp anymore even though both times it happened on crimpy sidepulls/pinches
Andrew Lodge - on 22 May 2012
In reply to Terry Walker:

> Smashed 600g of Ibuprofen and have been icing it for a couple of 15 min cycles.

Hopefully thats 600mg or the tendon is the least of your problems!

JimboWizbo - on 24 May 2012
In reply to Terry Walker: I had a big nasty pop from an open hand grip, I wasn't crimping though. That was at least a year ago, I rested for a while and got back into climbing being very mindful of how I stressed that particular finger. It feels normal again now.

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