Hand Tendon Repair Complications
Whether you are an athlete or simply want to improve your performance, hand tendon repair surgery may be the answer to your problems. However, the process can be complicated and there are some complications that you need to be aware of. These complications may include a longer recovery time, the risk of infection, and even injury to another part of the body.
Extensor tendons are more successful than flexor tendons
Unlike flexor tendons, which connect muscles to bones and provide flexibility, extensor tendons are shorter and have less cross-linking. This may be responsible for their more limited range of motion. In addition, they may be more easily damaged by simple “jamming” or by extreme sports activities.
A variety of techniques are available for flexor tendon repair. In general, a combination of core sutures and epitendinous sutures is used to repair a torn tendon. During surgery, the damaged end of the tendon is accessed and stitched together by an orthopedic surgeon. This technique ensures a secure repair. After the surgery, the patient is placed in a splint and physical therapy is provided. If the injury is severe, a graft is added to provide a strong repair.
An important factor in the success of a tendon repair is the technique used. Core sutures provide stability at the site of the tendon cut, while epitendinous sutures smooth out the end of the tendon. In addition, a static splint is used to improve the results of a tendon repair.
The most common signs of a flexor tendon injury are an open wound on the palm side of the hand and pain when the finger is bent. The most serious injury occurs when the tendon is torn and the attachment to the bone is pulled off. In some cases, the injury may occur when the attachment is pulled from the bone during a sport, such as a basketball. In some cases, the attachment is ripped off the bone and the muscle is completely torn. In other cases, the attachment is partially torn, but the finger can still be bent.
Flexor tendon repair is an outpatient procedure and usually involves local anesthesia. In general, a hand splint is worn for up to a month. In addition, physical therapy is provided to help rehabilitate the patient’s hand. This procedure should be performed as soon as possible after the injury. Flexor tendon injuries are more difficult to repair than extensor tendon injuries because the tendons are thinner and more prone to injury. The tendons are also more likely to be shortened, and this can limit movement in the interphalangeal joints.
Flexor tendon injuries typically occur in contact sports such as football and basketball. These types of sports are more likely to involve a sudden and powerful blow to the hand, causing the tendons to stretch beyond their normal limits. The result can be an injury that cannot be repaired or a painful and deformed hand. A physical therapist will develop a rehab plan that will help the patient regain a functional hand.
In addition, a surgical treatment process begins with an incision in the wrist. A special hand splint is then placed on the patient’s hand. This splint must be worn for a month to allow the tendon to heal. After the splint is removed, the patient should perform basic hand exercises daily.
Recovery from tendon repair surgery
Getting your hands back to full strength after tendon repair is a lengthy process. The recovery period can last from a few weeks to a few months. Individual healing times depend on a number of factors, including the type of tendon injury, the patient’s age, and overall health. Some medical conditions, such as uncontrolled blood sugar, can delay healing.
After tendon repair surgery, the injured area will be placed in a splint. The splint will help reduce pain and swelling. The splint is usually worn for 3-6 weeks. After the splint is removed, patients may return to light activities, such as typing, using a computer, or eating. However, they should avoid heavy activities until their hand is fully healed.
It is common for patients to experience pain and swelling in the hand following tendon repair surgery. In the first 5-7 days after the surgery, patients may feel pain, especially in the fingers. However, pain and swelling should be reduced after the first week. If you experience pain or swelling, contact your physician. He or she will prescribe medications for pain and infection. Tylenol is generally acceptable for pain. However, you should not exceed 3000 mg of Tylenol in a 24-hour period.
Infection is common after tendon repair surgery. Some of the symptoms include fever, redness, pain, and swelling. In most cases, infections can be treated with antibiotics. If the infection is severe, the doctor may prescribe another surgery.
Hand tendon repair surgery requires an experienced plastic surgeon. It is important to follow your physician’s instructions for hand exercises to prevent tendon adhesions. These adhesions may restrict your hand’s range of motion, which can result in a re-tear of the repaired tendon. A therapist will be able to teach you hand exercises to prevent adhesions.
After the first 5-7 days, patients may begin hand exercises. These exercises help move the tendons in a controlled manner. They also help prevent adhesions, which can lead to scarring. Hand exercises are gradually introduced over the next few weeks.
The physician will also instruct patients on how to take care of the wound. Clean, dry dressings are typically used. The physician will also give patients specific instructions on dressings and how to apply ointment. Often, patients will be required to wear a hand splint for the first few weeks following tendon repair surgery. The splint should be covered with a plastic bag when bathing.
Patients with tendon repairs may experience numbness in the hand or fingertip after surgery. Bruising and swelling may also occur. Infection may occur in 5% of tendon repair cases. Symptoms may include fever, swelling, redness, and itching.
Patients with tendon repairs should avoid driving for a minimum of eight weeks. Patients with more severe injuries may require a longer recovery time. They may not be able to perform heavy activities, such as sports, for a minimum of six months.
Complications of tendon repair surgery
Several complications of hand tendon repair surgery can occur, including a tendon rupture and infection. The risk of infection is highest if the injury occurred in a germy environment or in a crushing injury. However, most infections can be treated with antibiotics. The best way to prevent infection after tendon repair surgery is to follow the post-operative instructions.
In most cases, the first sign of infection is redness and swelling, but you should also see increased pain. If you develop an elevated temperature over 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit, you should see a doctor right away. In many cases, the infection can be treated with antibiotics and a hand splint.
During the postoperative period, you will need to wear a hand splint for several weeks to protect your repaired tendon. This splint will reduce the tension on your tendon and prevent it from snapping. You will need to wear the splint for about four weeks. During this time, you may not be able to perform light activities such as driving. You will also need to follow occupational therapy to restore your range of motion.
Depending on the severity of the injury, you may be able to go home the same day. However, more severe injuries may require you to stay in the hospital for a day or two. If you are going home, you will need to arrange aftercare arrangements.
The surgery will involve an incision on the palm or the back of the hand, with the ends of the tendons being stitched back together. Sometimes, the doctor will need to graft extra tendons to replace those damaged by the surgery. The surgery can be done under general anesthesia or regional anesthesia. You may have an oxygen mask placed on your face during the procedure. The anesthesia will also keep you from feeling pain. In some cases, you may experience an allergic reaction to the anesthetic.
Recovery from tendon repair surgery can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months. This depends on how well your hand heals, the amount of scarring, and the severity of your injury. The range of motion should return after six to eight weeks. After this time, you can begin light activities again. You will need to take part in hand therapy, as well as other exercises, to help your hand and wrist recover.
A doctor may need to do some imaging tests to determine the extent of the injury. These tests will help identify the exact location of the injury and what structures are damaged. If the injury is complex, your doctor may need to do exploratory surgery to find out what structures were injured. If there are no major structures damaged, your doctor may be able to do a primary repair.
Health A to Z. (n.d.). HSE.ie. https://www2.hse.ie/az/
U.S. National Library of Medicine. (n.d.). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/
Directory Health Topics. (n.d.). https://www.healthline.com/directory/topics
Health A-Z. (2022, April 26). Verywell Health. https://www.verywellhealth.com/health-a-z-4014770
Harvard Health. (2015, November 17). Health A to Z. https://www.health.harvard.edu/health-a-to-z
Health Conditions A-Z Sitemap. (n.d.). EverydayHealth.com. https://www.everydayhealth.com/conditions/