Flexor tendon laceration can happen to anyone who sustains a penetrating injury to the hand, wrist or arm. Deep cuts to the hand are most common causes. Some conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, can weaken the tendons, making them more susceptible to spontaneous rupture. Athletes are also at higher risk for flexor tendon injury.
The vast majority of tendon lacerations are surgical injuries to allow repair of the cut tendon(s). Splints, ice, and anti-inflammatories are used preoperatively for comfort and tissue healing.
- Partial lacerations < 60% of tendon width
Partially torn tendons do not require surgery for good results. The same splinting and exercise programs that are used for surgery patients can be very effective for patients with partial tears.
- Flexor tendon repair and controlled mobilization
- Acerations > 60% of tendon width
- Flexor tendon reconstruction and immediate rehabilitation
- Failed primary repair
- Chronic untreated injuries
Tendon transfer to thumb (FDS 4 to thumb)
- Chronic FPL rupture
It can take up to two months before the repair heals and the hand is strong enough to use without protection. It may take another month or so before the hand can be used with any force.