Tendons are tough cords of tissue that connect muscles to bones. When you contract (tighten) a group of muscles, the attached tendons will pull on certain bones, allowing you to make a wide range of physical movements.
Tendon repair of the hand is necessary when one or more tendons in your hand are divided or ruptured, leading to loss of normal hand movements, pain, and inflammation.
Patient History and Examination
Tendon Repair Treatment
Tendon repair involves making an incision in your hand to locate the ends of the divided tendon, and then stitching the tendon ends together.
Extensor tendons are easy to reach, so repairing them is relatively straightforward. Depending on the type of injury, it may be possible to repair extensor tendons in an accident and emergency department using a local anaesthetic to numb the affected area.
Repairing flexor tendons is more complex because they can be difficult to get to and, in many cases, are located near important nerves. Flexor tendon repair usually needs to be carried out under general anaesthetic.
Tendon Repair Recovery
Both types of tendon surgery require a lengthy period of recovery (rehabilitation) because the repaired tendons will be very weak until the ends heal together. Depending on the location of the injury, recovery can take between one and three months.
Light activities can often be resumed after 6–8 weeks and heavy activities and sport after 10–12 weeks.