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Flexor Tendon Injuries

What are Flexor Tendon injuries?

Flexor tendons are the tendons that run along the palm side of the fingers and allow them to bend in towards the palm. Each finger has two flexor tendons, while the thumb has only one. Due to the relative lack of flesh on the hand, these delicate tendons are very close to the surface of the finger, and this can lead to their being injured more easily than other parts of the hand.

What causes Flexor Tendon injuries?

It is most likely that Flexor Tendon injuries are caused by lacerations, and even a small cut can have serious consequences for its future use. This is especially common at the points in the fingers inside the joints, where they crease when made into a fist, as this is where the tendons are closest to the skin, and most likely to get cut. These injuries can also be caused by trauma that doesn’t break the skin, such when a finger is forcefully torn away from something it is gripping, which can tear the tendon, but does not cause a laceration.

What are symptoms of Flexor Tendon injuries?

The most immediately apparent sign of flexor tendon injury is the inability to bend the finger at one or more joint. If the injury is not that explicit, however, then there are other signs, such as pain when bending the fingers, tenderness or swelling at one or more joints along the finger. Also, if the injury is the result of a laceration or dramatic trauma, then that injury will also be an indicator.

How to diagnose Flexor Tendon injuries

Due to the delicate nature of the flexor tendons and their importance in the mobility and dexterity of the hand, it is important to see a doctor as soon as you think that you may have sustained an injury to them. The doctor will first perform a physical exam and take a medical history to determine if trauma was the cause of the injury, and examine the fingers to determine the location of the damaged tendon. An X-ray may be needed once this is established to see if there has been any damage to the bone as well as the tendons.

Treatment Options

Non-surgical treatment of Flexor Tendon injuries

Unlike extensor tendon injuries, cuts and tears of the flexor tendons require surgery in all cases as a meticulous repair is necessary and may be associated with an injury to the adjacent nerves and arteries..

Surgical treatment of Flexor Tendon injuries

After the flexor tendon is cut, it is imperative that the injury be operated upon in no more than seven days. Generally, this type of injury is repaired by stitching the separated ends of the tendon together, and then either restricting the movement of the finger, or allowing for slight movement, depending on the severity of the injury. It is also important that the doctor be aware of any other damage to the areas, such as the nerves and blood vessels, as these may also require surgery to repair. In almost all cases, the doctor will have you undergo a regimen of physical therapy after surgery in order to ensure that as much use as possible is returned to the hand. It is important to remember, however, that 100% use is almost never obtained in these injuries, because the development of scar tissue will take away at least some of the original mobility.

How can Dr. Knight help you with Flexor Tendon injuries?

Injuries to the delicate tendons of the hands can be traumatic and debilitating. Dr. Knight knows how important it is to restore to you the best possible use of your hands, and so will bring his considerable experience to bear in every case. In his many years of practice, Dr. Knight has repaired hundreds of tendon injuries, and with him, you are in good hands.

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