Climbers have a tendency to injure the A2 pulley in their fingers, most commonly in the ring finger, but the injury can also occur in the middle, index or small fingers. It doesn’t happen in the thumb.
Climber's Finger usually presents as tenderness or pain at the base of the finger during/after training, and may be associated with a popping sound during the initial injury. Though the soreness may abate over time, the pulley is likely to sustain further injury or heal in a stretched-out position if not protected adequately.
ABOUT the climbing doc
Dr. Warme is a University of Washington Professor in the Department of Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine, Chief of the Shoulder and Elbow Service and board-certified in orthopedic surgery. He seeks to help patients expeditiously return to top form and pursue the activities they enjoy.
An avid climber since 1973, Dr. Warme understands personally the strains of this sport, from sore feet to torn finger pulleys. He is dedicated to enhancing the athlete experience and has developed a tool to aid climbers who have experienced such a pulley injury: the SPOrt™.
Our research on the SPOrt™ was presented as an Oral Presentation at the annual American Association for Hand Surgery (AAHS), January 30 - February 2, 2019. A preliminary version of the paper was published by the University of Washington School of Medicine.
To view the manuscript, navigate to page 24 of the Discoveries 2018 Publication.
"SPOrt changed my ability to train and climb through injury. I was immediately able to climb on tenuous terrain where I had previously been limited before even with taping. It was amazing!"
- Audrey Sniezek