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Who Can Benefit from the SPOrt™?

If you have tweaked your fingers, or have pain in your fingers from climbing, the SPOrt (Semilunar Pulley Orthosis) may be just right for you! It is a brace for your finger tendons, designed to be worn when climbing to protect injured pulleys and facilitate the healing process.


The SPOrt was initially designed to allow for the non-operative treatment of complete A2 pulley ruptures - to optimize healing in as close to an anatomic condition as possible and protect the pulley as the climber returns to climbing.  In this particular setting, usually under the guidance of a health care provider, the climber will follow the Management of an Acute Pulley Injury Protocol.


However, the SPOrt also works well for partial injuries of the A2 or the A4 pulley which we identify commonly in climbers with ultrasound or MRI.  Interestingly after a finger injury climbing, which may be associated with a popping sound and tenderness at the base of the finger, or over the middle phalanx, the soreness abates in a few weeks, and the climber may feel like he or she is healing up.  Without protection of the injured pulley however, returning to climbing or hard use of the hand can lead to further injury or simply healing of the pulley in a stretched-out position. (See ultrasound pictures of my pulley rupture for an example.)  The SPOrt works really well for these partial injuries.


Finally, and importantly, many climbers have sore fingers after climbing.  This can be related to the fact that they have sustained pulley injuries over the years, and treated them to the best of their ability, but the pulleys have healed up in a stretched-out condition.  This allows increased strain on the remaining pulleys and can lead to tendonitis in the flexor tendons. Many climbers at all levels have benefited from wearing the SPOrt for a period of time, to allow the inflammation to resolve, and to return to training and climbing more quickly.


It bears repeating however, that while rest is a four-letter word to many hardcore training fiends, and most climbers to some degree, if your fingers are hurting while you are climbing, (from an acute pulley or tendon injury) you shouldn’t be climbing.  (That said, if you have a touch of arthritis but you aren’t going to let that stop you from climbing, that is a different situation, so climb on!)


In summary, the SPOrt works well for:


  1. Flexor tendonitis (soreness at the base of the finger on the palm side)

  2. Complete A2 or A4 pulley injuries

    1. Acute

    2. Chronic

  3. Partial A2 or A4 pulley injuries

    1. Acute

    2. Chronic

  4. Returning to climbing after a pulley reconstruction surgery

"I can't recommend [the SPOrt] enough for any climber out there suffering through a pulley injury."

- Alex Aizenman

Read more testimonials.