Flexor Tendon Injuries
The muscles you use to flex or bend your fingers are appropriately called the flexor muscles. From the elbow and forearm region, your flexor muscles turn into flexor tendons halfway down your arm and attach to your finger bones. There are two flexor tendons for each finger and thumb.
A deep cut on the underside of your hand or fingers can damage the flexor tendons. If a tendon is severed or cut, the tendon will pull apart and the blood supply to your fingers may be cut off. These cases require immediate surgery. Without properly functioning flexor tendons, moving your fingers becomes impossible and also very painful.
Symptoms of a Flexor Tendon Injury
In addition to an open injury, such as a deep cut on the palm, symptoms include the inability to bend one or more joints in a finger, pain when bending a finger, tenderness along the palm side of your finger, and fingertip numbness.
After a serious cut to your hand, wrap your hand in sterile gauze, followed by a clean Arctic Ease wrap. The cold therapy helps narrow the blood vessels and the compression will also help slow the bleeding. Seek immediate medical attention for any deep cuts.
Tendons cannot heal unless the ends are touching. The sooner the tendon is repaired, the better the recovery rate. Following surgery, your doctor may put your hand in a bent position in a splint to protect the flexor tendon repair. This will limit your movement and help the tendon heal properly.
Following surgery, you’ll need physical therapy to help you gradually regain function of your hand. It can take up to two months for the tendon repair to fully heal and another month before you can use your hand with force.
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