What is Tendon Repair

The surgical repair of damaged or torn tendons is called tendon repair.

Effects of Tendon Repair

Tendon repair intends to restore the normal function of joints or adjoining tissues following a tendon laceration. The majority of tendon repairs are successful, which makes full joint function possible.

Candidates for Tendon Repair

People who have tendons that may have ruptured as a consequence of rheumatoid arthritis or due to the tendons rubbing on a rough piece of bone are ideal candidates for tendon repair.

Your Consultation

Before the undergoing tendon repair, the doctor will require you to stop smoking and to lower your weight if you are overweight. If you have any complications with your blood pressure, your heart or your lungs, ask the doctor to make sure that these are under control.

On the ward, you may be examined for previous illnesses, and you may have special tests to ensure that you are well-prepared and that you can go through the operation as safely as possible.

The Tendon Repair Procedure

Tendon repairs are usually performed in an outpatient setting and hospital stays, if any, are brief. Prior to the procedure, you will be given local, regional or general anesthesia. During tendon repair, an incision is made over the injured tendon. Then the damaged or torn ends of the tendon are sewn together.

If the tendon has been injured badly, a tendon graft may be necessary (a piece of tendon from the foot or toe or another part of the body is often used). If needed, tendons are connected again to the adjoining connective tissue. Then the area is checked for injuries to nerves and blood vessels. After that, the incision is closed.

Recovery

Healing can take as long as 6 weeks, in the course of which the injured part may have to be immobilized in a splint or a cast. Post-operative therapy is normally required to reduce scar tissue and maximize function after repair.

Risks

Complications consist of risks for anesthesia, bleeding and infection. Specific risks for this procedure include the development of scar tissue which prevents smooth movements (adequate tendon gliding), and restricted loss of function in the involved joint.

FAQs

What is a tendon?

A tendon is characterized as a strong cord that links a muscle to a bone. It allows the bone to move when the muscle contracts. The tendons that straighten your fingers run over the back of your wrist and hand. Two tendons run to the index and little fingers. And there is only one tendon to each of your other fingers.

What happens during a tendon repair procedure?

Once an incision is made, the ends of the tendon will be sutured together. A graft is rarely necessary to elongate the tendon. If a tendon graft is needed, it will be obtained from either the same forearm or the leg. This should not result in any functional deficit in the forearm or leg.

Are there any other alternatives?

You will not be able to straighten your finger if you leave the tendon damaged. Even plaster casts and splints will not be able to help on their own.

Are there any complications in this procedure?

Sometimes, wound infection occurs. You will be provided antibiotics to try and prevent this. More crucial complications like damage to the blood vessels or the nerves in or around the area of the operation hardly ever happen, and you possibly will require further operation to fix them. The tendon is at its weakest two weeks after it has been fixed. The tendon repair can occasionally come apart. If this happens, you will immediately not be able to straighten your finger. Go to straight to the doctor for a second repair.

Will there be scars?

There will be a minor scar where the original incision was made.

When can I expect to return to work and/or resume normal activities?

Use of the involved hand will be limited for several weeks, depending on the nature of the tendon injury and kind of repair done, in order to permit appropriate healing and rehabilitation. Your surgeon will explain this in detail with you.

It is encouraged that you only do light activity after surgery. Expect to be able to go back to normal activities such as showering, driving, walking up the stairs and working within a few days. You should not drive if you are taking narcotic medications for pain.