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The flexor and extensor tendons are responsible for the movement of all joints in the hand and wrist. As a result, any damage sustained in these tissues can limit or completely prevent proper hand and wrist function. At the Institute for Hand Surgery at LIPSG, we provide both non-surgical and surgical treatments to address your injury, minimize your symptoms, and recover as quickly as possible. Depending on your condition, our reconstructive hand surgeons in Long Island and NYC can develop a personalized treatment plan designed to restore function and mobility to any affected areas.

Flexor Tendon Injuries

Flexor tendons are cord-like tissues that connect muscles of the forearm to bone and allow movement in your wrist and fingers. Deep cuts on the palm side of your fingers, hand, wrist, or forearm can damage or completely tear a flexor tendon. If flexor tendons are cut through, bending the fingers or thumb will become impossible.

These injuries may be caused by injuries or lacerations that can occur during work-related injuries, motor vehicle accidents, sports, or even simple daily activities like cooking. Additionally, certain conditions like rheumatoid arthritis can weaken tendons and make them more likely to tear. While the most obvious symptom of a flexor tendon injury is an inability to bend the fingers, other symptoms may include:

Treatment

When a flexor tendon is completely cut, surgery is typically the only way to repair the tissue and restore the lost function. Partial tears of the flexor tendon may be treated by non-surgical solutions, such as wearing a splint and physical therapy. There are even situations where tendon injuries are left untreated. Our expert hand surgeons will evaluate your injury and determine the best treatment for you.

Extensor Tendon Injuries

Extensor tendons are the connective tissue that allow the fingers, wrist, and thumb to straighten. They are located on the back of the forearm, wrist, hand, and fingers. These tendons are commonly damaged by jamming a finger or suffering a cut. When the extensor tendon is injured or torn, you may be unable to straighten the affected joints. “Mallet finger” (or baseball finger) is a common injury in which the fingertip is unable to straighten, due to a forced bending of the fingertip from a straight position. In general, symptoms of an extensor tendon injury may include:

Treatment

A torn extensor tendon can sometimes be treated by wearing a splint to immobilize the area and allow the tendon to heal. Depending on the extent and location of your injury, healing the tendon may require eight to 12 weeks of recovery time. In other cases, surgical repair may be needed to restore straightening function in this region.

While both of these injuries may limit the extent of hand movement, proper treatment can help restore function in your fingers, wrist, and hand. Our experienced hand surgeons can recommend the best course of treatment to improve your symptoms and allow you to regain mobility in the injured tendons.

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