Finger Tendon Injuries

  • Introduction

  • Surgical Treatment

The fingers and thumbs are responsible for tasks such as grasping, holding, curling, flexing and extending. Tendons in the fingers and thumb connect muscles to bones. When the muscles contract, the tendons pull on the bones allowing fingers to bend and extend. If the tendon suffers an injury, it can become difficult or impossible for the fingers and thumb to bend or extend. Additionally, an injury to the forearm, wrist or palm, such as a laceration, can affect the tendons which run from the fingers across the wrist into the forearm. This is because tendons are located close to the skin making them vulnerable and easily injured.

Other conditions can weaken the tendons making them susceptible to tearing; which can occur without warning and suddenly leaves the finger without the ability to bend or extend. Rheumatoid arthritis, steroid use, and tendon degeneration from overuse are often causes for this injury. Symptoms include numbness, pain when the finger is bent or extended or the inability to bend the finger completely.

There are some conservative measures to treat a tendon injury prior to complete disruption however once a tendon tears or is lacerated, it typically does not heal on its own. The tendons must be attached to the bone in order for them to function normally. Therefore, surgery is required to reattach the tendon. Surgery is typically performed on an outpatient basis. If a tendon injury is chronic, it could require a reconstruction, where a tendon graft may be used or even a temporary artificial tendon rod. A splint is applied to the hand and wrist following tendon surgery in order to prohibit any unwanted movement while the tendon heals and restores to normal function. Finger tendon injuries are at high risk for formation of stiffness after healing.

Our Physicians whom specialize in conditions of the hand and upper extremity

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