What is a flexor tendon repair?
Flexor tendons are responsible for bending the fingers and are located on the palm side of the hand. Tendons are made up of fibrous tissue and help connect the muscles of the body to the bones. They also aid in movement, pulling on the bones when the muscles contract. These tendons slide through tendon sheaths, which are tunnels that help keep the tendons in place. Injuries to the flexor tendons can affect a patient’s ability to bend their fingers. A cut or torn tendon can cause these injuries. Cuts or tears to the tendons in the wrist, forearm, palm, or fingers can all affect the patient’s ability to bend their fingers at the joint. They may also experience nerve damage and should seek immediate medical attention if the blood vessels in the fingers have been damaged. Flexor tendon injuries can consist of partial tears to the tendon, and the patient should still seek treatment even if they still have the ability to move their fingers. A flexor tendon repair procedure is a surgical procedure used to repair the torn or damaged tendons. The procedure is used to help patients regain a normal range of motion in the fingers or the thumb.
What is a flexor tendon repair procedure like?
Surgery for a flexor tendon repair is usually performed as an outpatient procedure, and the patient will be able to return home the day of surgery. Surgery is usually performed between seven and ten days after the injury, but the patient may need immediate surgery if the damage has impacted blood flow to the hand or fingers. A regional or general anesthetic will be used for the procedure. A tourniquet will be applied around the upper arm in order to stop blood circulating to the area so that bleeding doesn’t impact the visibility of the hand’s structure. The surgeon will then make an incision or extend the existing wound to locate the damaged tendons. The ends of the damaged tendon will be stitched back together, and the wound or incision will then be closed with stitches. A dressing and splint will be applied, and the fingers will be placed in a bent position in order to keep any tension off of the recently repaired tendons. The patient will need hand therapy in order to regain optimal mobility.
Do you have an injury that could benefit from this surgical technique? Contact the specialists at Mobility Bone & Joint Institute to learn more about treatment options.