Tendons and nerves are responsible for the movement and sensations of the body. Tendons in the upper extremities connect muscles to structures in the hands and fingers. They allow for movement in the wrist, hand, and fingers. Common ways to injure the tendons in upper extremity is through a cut or laceration, crush injuries, and sprains. If this tendon is severed (completely cut through), it will not heal without surgical repair. If the tendon is partially injured, a repair may or may not be required. However, after an injury in order to restore function, surgery and supervised hand therapy will be needed to reach maximum improvement. During an injury like this other structure in the area can be damaged as well and will need surgical repair if the extent is severe. These structure include the nerves, blood vessels (veins and arteries), bones and surrounding soft tissue. Damage of these structures can be suspected on visual and physical exam, but definitive diagnosis is only through exploratory surgery.
If you have experienced and injury like this it is important to seek medical attention immediately. Delay or failure to have a tendon, nerve, and or any of the other structures surrounding the injury repaired can lead to loss of function, sensation, and other complications. This procedure is generally done under anesthesia. The area being repaired needs to be completely still during the procedure to prevent further damage to the structures. If the patient is awake chances of movement is significantly greater than if they are sedated. The procedure is generally under 60 minutes and can be performed in the hospital or our office based surgical center.