November 27, 2019

Paul Nielsen, MD

Orthopaedic Surgeon

What Are the Symptoms of Tendon Lacerations?

  • A cut or open injury normally causes a tendon laceration
  • Inability to completely bend the fingers down or straighten them often occurs
    • Some partial tendon injuries will have pain with attempted movement
  • Some patients will have numbness if a nerve nearby is also injured

What Are Common Causes of Tendon Lacerations?

  • Stab wounds such as a knife or glass
  • Saws or other power tools
  • Crush injuries and car wrecks

What Are the Types of Tendon Lacerations?

  • Flexor tendon injuries
    • Tendons on the palm side of the hand
    • These tendons bend the fingers down into a fist
  • Extensor tendon injuries
    • Tendons on the back side of the hand
    • These tendons help straighten the fingers and thumb

How are Tendon Lacerations Treated?

  • Most tendon lacerations are treated with surgery
    • Tendons do not normally heal back together without being repaired
  • Surgery involves sewing the tendons back together with sutures
    • The procedure is normally a same-day outpatient procedure
    • This can sometimes be performed in the emergency room or clinic
    • one was removed

What Is Recovery Like After Surgery?

  • The hand is normally immobilized in a splint initially
    • A removable splint is used after that to protect the repair
  • Therapy is started 1-2 weeks after the injury
    • Therapy balances resting to allow the tendon to heal with starting movement to avoid scarring and stiffness 
    • These are often performed by a hand therapist due to their complexity
  • Restrictions on use are often in place for a few months
  • Most patients regain good range of motion and strength 

Concerned about a tendon laceration or injury Call 308-865-2570 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Nielsen today. Same day appointments typically available. No referral required.


About the Author

Paul Nielsen, MD is an orthopedic surgeon specializing in hand & upper extremity surgery at New West Sports Medicine & Orthopaedic Surgery in Kearney, NE.

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