What is Flexor Tendon Injury?
Tendons located in the hand, wrist, and forearm control hand movement. Flexor Tendons give the hand the ability to make a fist, to pinch, to hold, and to grasp objects. Unfortunately, lacerations or cuts to the hand, wrist or arm may injure a tendon causing the fingers, thumb or wrist to be unable to move. Even the smallest cut can cause some significant problems if it is in a specific location.
In addition to lacerations, some flexor tendon injuries can occur if the tendon pulls away from the bone; if the tendon ruptures due to wear; or if the tendon-muscle interface separates. If the tendon is completely lacerated or ruptured, you will be unable to bend part of your arm or hand. The level of impairment depends on the location of the injury. It is not unusual to have numbness, tingling and a lot of bleeding after a tendon is lacerated.
Surgery in Zone II (the area that spans from the base of the finger to mid-finger) used to be called No Man’s Land as performing surgeries in this area was unsuccessful. That was until Dr. Harold Kleinert developed a technique that was highly successful and made the Kleinert technique world renown in Flexor II Tendon Repair.
How is it Diagnosed?
Your hand surgeon will do a physical examination and obtain x-rays. Sometimes an MRI or CT scan may be needed to get better detail of the extent of the injury.
What is the Treatment for Carpal Metacarpal Arthritis?
Flexor tendon injuries do not heal by themselves, and the sooner it is treated, the more successful the results. If you suspect flexor tendon injury, see a hand specialist right away. Typically, surgery will be necessary to put the injured tendon back to its normal position. Any additional injured structures are repaired at the same time as the tendon. Recovery can result in scarring and stiffness. It is not unusual to need additional surgery to improve flexibility. Therapy with UofL Health – Frazier Rehab Institute – Hand Therapy may also be prescribed.