Flexor pulley splints
A new treatment for an old problem
After a day on surprisingly sharp holds at overhanging buttress Moughton Nab
to order a pulley splint click here
Most climbers know someone who has injured a finger flexor pulley or have done it themselves. Partial tears are debilitating. Full ruptures are devastating, often requiring surgery if more than one is ruptured. The good news is that the recovery is normally a full one. The downside is that it is a very slow recovery due to poor blood flow to the tissues and often takes months.
Taping is often used to support or assist the pulley during climbing, the theory being to minimise the loads the pulley has to manage. Sadly this is not very effective and can lead to false confidence. The stress reduction is statistically significant, but small and the tape needs frequent re-application.
The theory is a sound and logical one, but to get the tape tight enough to be truly effective the circulation to the finger is cut off. Not ideal for a tissue we want to heal.
Micha Schneeberger B.S. and Dr. Andreas Schweizer M.D. recently published “Pulley Ruptures in Rock Climbers: Outcome of Conservative Treatment With the Pulley-Protection Splint-A Series of 47 Cases.” This showed the efficacy of using thermoplastic rings. They follow the same principles of taping, but provide much more support. It is possible to wear them for hours at a time, even when climbing. They allow for adequate blood flow to the finger whilst providing more effective support than taping.
The study showed they significantly improved recovery time and the success of rupture repair. This is due to the splint holding the tendon close to the bone for extended periods, allowing the pulley to heal around it.
They can be used to support full ruptures as well as partial tears.
One order will last you the entire rehab time as i send 3 of differing sizes as the swelling in the finger reduces.
They are custom made to your finger using a 3D printer and then sent out via the post to anywhere in the world.
They can be worn 23 hours a day, during work, climbing and other activities. Certain restrictions obviously apply and you should use the splints under the guidance of your chosen medical professional.
Pulley injuries are easily manageable remotely. They are now well understood and rehab is based around load management and symptom response.
I can also provide this service. Just go to the booking page.