Tendons are fibrous bands of connective tissue that link your muscles to your bones. (Ligaments, by contrast, are connective structures that attach bones to other bones.) Tendons play an essential role in the movement of the joints. In the hand, tendons are essential for the movements of the fingers and for grip strength as well. When the tendons are injured, this can severely impair your wrist's range of motion, grip strength, and the movement of your fingers. If that happens, the Orthopaedic Specialists of Austin can help.
Our team has years of experience performing advanced elbow, wrist, and hand surgery, helping the people of Austin, TX experience restored ability to reach, grab, throw, and perform so many other actions that we often take for granted. Let's consider when tendon repair surgery is required and the basics of what patients can expect.
Signs and Symptoms of Hand Tendon Injuries
The most common signs and symptoms of hand tendon injuries include:
- Changes in the appearance of the hand or fingers
- Changes in the movement of the hands or fingers
- Inability to bend your fingers or wrists
- Pain when your fingers or wrist are bent
- Swelling of the hand, fingers, or wrist
- Blood welling up under a fingernail
Is Surgery Necessary?
Whenever possible, the Orthopaedic Specialists of Austin will consider if surgical treatment can be avoided. Less invasive treatments tend to be favored by patients since there is less risk and downtime associated with these procedures.
Tendon repair surgery will most likely be necessary if the tendon has been torn, or if the tendon is no longer attached to the muscle or bone. During a consultation, we can diagnose your tendon issue and determine the ideal course of action.
How Tendon Repair Surgery is Performed
When performing surgery on a damaged tendon, orthopedic surgeons work to mend any tears or rips in the tendon itself, or reattach the tendon if it has come loose. The location of the incision will vary depending on the nature of the injury and the tendons that must be addressed.
Following the tendon repair surgery, a patient's hand and fingers will be stabilized using a brace or splint. This will prevent movement, allowing the tendons to heal.
Recovering from Hand Tendon Repair Surgery
It usually takes about two months or so to fully recover from tendon repair surgery. During this time, patients should avoid using their affected hand, giving it time to heal and not aggravate the tendons, muscles, or bones involved in the procedure.
At a certain point in the healing process, patients will undergo physical therapy. This will help restore the range of motion to the hands and fingers, and rebuild grip strength.
The Results of Tendon Repair
Following tendon repair and physical rehabilitation, patients experience restored use of their hand. Depending on the nature of the tendon injury, full use of the hand or fingers may not be restored, but the surgery will make a significant difference in terms of the patient's ability to use their hands again.
Discuss Treatments with Our Team of Surgeons
If you would like to learn more about treating tendon injuries and restoring the use of your hands, be sure to contact our team of skilled orthopedic surgeons. You can reach our team by phone at (512) 476-2830.