The primary role of the pulley system is to convert linear translation and force in the muscle tendon into rotational motion at the fingers. This will allow for more efficient use of our fingers because they can transform these energies with minimal loss.
The eyelets of a fishing rod are like the pulleys in your fingers, keeping the fishing line close to the rod when it bends. Without these eyelets (or pulleys) the fishing line (or tendons) would pull away from the joint axis of rotation during flexion and decrease the function of the whole system.
Pulley ruptures are especially frequent among rock climbers, with A2 pulley ruptures more common than A4 pulleys, and sometimes clinically you see A2 with A3 ruptures.
The treatment for a pulley rupture depends on how bad it is and what caused the injury to begin with. Was it progressive or did it come on quickly?
With regards to the actual treatment, conservative management is best, especially for single pulley ruptures. Patient compliance is important as the splint needs to be worn 100% time during the scarring phase.
If treated surgically, the surgeon may be able to use ½ FDS tendon to make a pseudo ligament. Surgery is not a very satisfying operation as adhesions may limit the post-operative range of movement.
If you would like to have your injured finger examined by one of our fully qualified therapists, please call us at Melbourne Hand Therapy today (03) 9899 8490 or leave an enquiry and we will get back to you as soon as possible.