Injuries that occur on the hands and wrist right under the skin can damage the tendons and cause severe pain. These are known as extensor tendon injuries and may require surgery to restore proper functioning of the hand.
What Are Extensor Tendon Injuries?
If you are injured by a minor cut, jam your finger in a door, or injure the area on the back of the hand where your fingers bend, the tendons right under the skin may be damaged. If these are not treated in a timely manner, it can be difficult to straighten one or more joints in the hand. Common extensor tendon injuries include Mallet Finger, where the end-joint of a finger droops, and a Boutonniere Deformity where the middle joint of the finger bends down permanently.
These types of hand injuries are typically caused when the fingers or hand get jammed into a door or a small compartment with force. When the extensor tendons are torn or cut, treatment will be needed to help those tissues heal.
Extensor Tendon Treatment
In many cases, extensor tendon injuries that were the result of jamming the fingers or hand can be treated with a splint. A splint holds the damaged tissues in place so it can heal as quickly as possible. This process typically takes eight to twelve weeks and may take longer if the splinting process needs to be broken up.
If the tendons are cut, surgical treatment is needed to suture the tendon back together. Dr. Kilaru may need to use a pin to create an internal splint. In some cases, surgical removal of scar tissue is needed to restore range of motion. Once healing is complete, the patient may need to undergo hand therapy to restore full range of motion.
What to Expect with Extensor Tendon Treatment
The full length of healing and recovery varies from patient to patient and Dr. Kilaru will provide a tentative recovery plan based on how well you are healing. He will monitor your progress during recovery and may recommend physical therapy after the splints are removed.
If you are suffering from extensor tendon injuries or want to learn more about hand surgery, schedule a consultation with Dr. Kilaru today.