Excessive strain on tendons can lead them to tear. Sports-related injuries and accidents are the most common causes of tendon tears. Rheumatoid arthritis can also lead to tendons rupturing and getting injured. Tendon injuries are predominantly internal injuries and the patient won’t realize the severity of the injury immediately. If you feel stabs of pain in your hand or forearm or you are unable to use your arm due to an injury, be sure to visit the Hand and Microsurgery Medical Group for a check-up.
Causes of Tendon Injury
Hand tendon injuries must be promptly treated to prevent long-term loss of function. Orthopedic hand specialist Leonard Gordon, MD, specializes in tendon surgery and offers treatment of hand injuries to residents of San Francisco, California, at Hand and Microsurgery Medical Group.
The tendon repair surgery is performed for three reasons:
- To retain/improve the range of movement and flexibility of the injured tendon.
- To prevent excessive scarring and weakening of the tendon.
- To prevent the onset of infection by removing any glass ,metal or plastic that may have lodged itself in the tendon due to an accident.
What is a hand tendon?
Hands move because of the muscles in the forearms contract, and these muscles end in tendons that then connect to the bones of the wrist, hands and fingers. As the muscles contract and shorten, the tendons move the fingers or wrist. Each part that moves has a flexor and extensor tendon to bend or straighten the respective finger or wrist.
Treatment to Restore Your Way of Life
There are three types of tendon repair surgeries that doctors perform:
- Extensor tendon repair
This surgery treats injuries to tendons located on top of the fingers on the topside of the palm. The operation restores the ability to grasp objects and to close & straighten the fists.
- Flexor Tendon Repair
This surgery treats the tendons that are located at the bottom-facing area of the palm and underneath the fingers. After this surgery, the patient regains his grasping and gripping ability.
- Tendon Transfer Surgery
This surgery is done when the tendon is injured beyond recovery and a new tendon needs to be placed at the site of injury. A healthy tendon is grafted from another area of the body and placed in the hand.
Both Dr. Joshua Gordon and Dr. Leonard Gordon have extensive experience performing tendon repairs. You can rely on them for the utmost in quality care.
One Hand at a Time
We do everything possible to ensure your surgery is successful with no drawbacks.
Tendons are always under some tension, and when the tendon is cut the ends separate. Healing will not occur unless the tendon ends are brought back together and kept in this position for 4-6 weeks. This requires surgical preparation, and there are many complex methods to do this. Tendons in the hand are particularly susceptible to injury from deep cuts because they lie so close under the skin. If a torn or cut tendon is not properly repaired, it will be impossible for the patient to bend or straighten the joint – which will cause significant functional loss to the hand, wrist, or fingers.
Surgery is almost always needed for a torn tendon. Tendons should be surgically repaired within one to seven days of injury for the best possible outcome. A hand tendon repair is usually an outpatient procedure, and patients can go home on the same day. The finger joint must be immobilized in a splint to protect the repaired tendon initially, and therapy to regain motion is usually begun 3 to 5 days after the repair. Full healing can take two to three months or more.
Hand numbness and hand pain are both common after the surgery. Swelling and tenderness are also present and these will disappear a few days after the surgery. Always elevate your hand on cushions and avoid moving or using your hand. You will be asked to wear a splint for 3-6 weeks after the surgery and when your hand is healed, the doctors will prescribe exercises to strengthen your tendons.
We Can Help
If you have experienced tendon damage but don’t want to give up your way of life or live with an inhibition of your regular activities, there’s good news! We have helped hundreds of patients continue doing what they love, and sometimes salvaged their careers in the case of musicians and athletes. Give us a call today and we will be happy to give you detailed information about our hand tendon repair services and what can be done for you.