Improving Function with Tendon Repair Surgery

The Center for Hand Surgery at University Hospitals Department of Plastic Surgery in Cleveland, Ohio, offers the latest innovations in tendon repair surgery to improve hand mobility and function.

Two main problems linked with tendons include tendonitis or tenosynovitis. Tendonitis, inflammation of a tendon, is commonly seen in the wrist and fingers and results in swelling, pain and discomfort in the hand.

Patient History and Examination

Doctors at the Center for Hand Surgery at University Hospitals perform a complete physical examination and review of medical history to determine if tendon repair is the correct course of treatment. The doctor will notice the type of pain and the areas of the hand where it occurs. X-rays and blood tests may be performed for an accurate diagnosis.

Tendon Repair Surgery

The most common traumatic hand or finger injury requiring hand surgery is tendon repair. When a tendon is cut, it will retract from the original wound site. Tendon repair retrieves the retracted tendon and reconnects it using surgical techniques to restore function and movement.

While complex tendon repair surgery may be necessary, tendon repair surgery at UH usually includes:

  • Primary tendon repair surgery, which involves direct surgical correction of the injury
  • Secondary tendon repair surgery that includes tendon grafts (inserting tendons from other areas of the body in place of the damaged tendon)

Side Effects and Recovery

Tendon repair surgery is usually performed in an outpatient setting at UH. Recovery may take from 6 to 12 weeks. The injury is kept in a cast or splint to keep it still. With therapy, the tendon is gradually moved to full range of motion.

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