Tendon Injuries in the Hand
Tendons are the tough, fibrous tissues throughout the body that connect muscle to bone. Unlike other tissues in the body, tendons do not regenerate and, therefore, cannot repair themselves. When tendons are severely torn or ruptured, surgery is required to repair them.
Tendons in the hand can be split into two groups - flexor tendons and extensor tendons. The flexor tendons run from the flexor muscles in the forearm, through the palm to the fingers and are responsible for bending your fingers, like when you make a fist or grasp an object. Extensor tendons run from the extensor muscles in the forearm across the back of the hand to the fingers. This group of tendons is responsible for straightening your fingers.
Common causes of tendon injuries in the hand include trauma, sports injuries, and repetitive motions. Symptoms of tendon injuries include pain, swelling, stiffness, and difficulty moving the affected area. In addition, some people report a popping or snapping sensation at the time of injury.
The effect of Tendon Injuries
Tendon injuries in the hand can have a significant negative impact on an individual's quality of life. These injuries can cause pain and limit mobility. Even a minor tear in a flexor or extensor tendon can cause pain or prevent you from being able to straighten, bend and control your fingers. This can make it difficult to perform the daily tasks we often take for granted, like holding a glass, writing, typing, and picking up objects.
Tendon Repair Surgical Procedure
When tendons are completely torn, they can be surgically repaired to restore full function to the hand. There are a variety of techniques for tendon repair surgery, including stitching tendons back together, tendon grafts, and tendon transfers. The choice of technique will depend on the location and severity of the injury. Dr Turner will assess your injury and use the method that will result in the best outcome.
Recovery after Tendon Repair Surgery
Recovery after tendon repair surgery in the hand will take several weeks. Patients will need to take time away from work and hobbies to allow the hand to heal successfully. You will wear a cast for a few days, to immobilise the hand and protect the repair. Once the repair is stable enough, your cast will be removed, and you will receive a custom-made removable splint.
Patients will attend a number of sessions with a hand therapist to check on their progress and develop a rehabilitation plan. This plan will include exercises to strengthen the intricate structures of the hand, promote healing and rebuild function.
If you are suffering from a tendon injury in your hand, don't hesitate to contact Dr Alexandra Turner and her team for expert care and treatment. They will work with you to develop a personalised treatment plan to restore movement and function to your hand and help you regain your quality of life.