Hand Hand Surgeon Tendon Injuries Tendons

Ask a Doctor: Tendon Injuries

Hand surgeon David J. Bozentka, MD answers your questions about tendon injuries.

What is a tendon?

A tendon is a cord-like structure that attaches a muscle to a bone.  The muscles that allow you to bend and straighten your fingers start in the forearm, and the tendons attach the muscles to your fingers and wrist.  The tendons on the palm side of the hand that bend the fingers and wrist are called flexor tendons.  The tendons on the back side of the hand and wrist are termed extensor tendons.

How do I know that I have a tendon injury?  

Difficulty in fully bending or straightening your finger or wrist after an injury may be related to damage to a tendon.  Lacerations (cuts) to the hand, wrist or forearm are some of the more common reasons you can injure a tendon.  In addition, an injury without an open wound can cause a tendon to pull away from a bone called an avulsion injury.  A Jersey Finger is a term used for a flexor tendon avulsion injury most commonly occurring in the ring finger.  A player that grabs another player’s jersey that is pulled away can avulse a flexor tendon, causing inability to bend the tip joint of the finger.  Alternatively, a Mallet Finger involves an avulsion injury of the extensor tendon leading to a droop of the tip joint of the involved digit.

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Hand Hand Surgery Hand Therapy Surgery

Advice from a Certified Hand Therapist: What to Expect When You’re Expecting Surgery

Surgery generally falls into two categories, elective and emergency.  Outcomes from these two types can vary greatly.  Emergency surgery is usually done to preserve life or function and usually follows some sort of serious incident or injury.  Elective surgery means you may have some choice about the surgery as well as some time to discuss options with your doctor or medical team.

Post-operative expectations following surgery will depend greatly on the type of surgery you have, the amount of damage before and during surgery, your body’s response, and how well you take care of yourself afterward.

How can I prepare myself for my surgery?

The best way to prepare for surgery is to start as early as possible.  Most surgeries come with a set of precautions for after surgery, but what you do before surgery can also make a difference.

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Elbow Hand Hand Pain Hand Surgeon Wrist

Pain in Your Hand, Wrist or Elbow? When to Seek Help

from the Cleveland Clinic

Pain is your body’s way of telling you something is wrong. But it doesn’t always tell you if you need medical treatment. So when pain develops in your hand, wrist or elbow, how do you know whether to treat it at home or see a doctor?

Orthopedic surgeon William Seitz, Jr., MD, who specializes in upper extremity problems, says if something is seriously wrong, you’ll know it.

A wrist fracture, for instance, will cause pain you can’t ignore. “When the pain is so bad you can’t move past it, call your doctor or head to the emergency department,” he says. If you don’t have that level of pain, then listen to your body. Take a moment to consider why you might be feeling pain and what it can tell you.

Read the full story.

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Bones Elbow Olecranon Bursitis

How to Know if You Have Olecranon Bursitis

Olecranon bursitis is a condition in which painful swelling develops at the back of the elbow. Here are signs that you may have this condition:

  • Swollen elbow (sometimes looking like a golf ball at the tip)
  • Tenderness
  • Redness
  • Warmth around the elbow
  • Fever
  • Draining pus

Most times, you feel no pain with olecranon bursitis. The swelling can either be gradual or happen at once. Sometimes, it can be painful if the bursa is infected.

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Hand Hand Care Skin

Random Fact: Old Hands

Did you know? Our hands look older with time because they lose fat and elasticity. Learn more from the Cleveland Clinic about how to take care of your hands to prevent them from looking older.

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Arthritis Hand Psoriatic Arthritis Skin

What is Psoriatic Arthritis?

Psoriatic arthritis is a type of arthritis in which the lining of the joint gets inflamed and swollen, causing the joint to become loose or crooked. Psoriatic arthritis is not the same as psoriasis, which is a skin condition that causes skin to become dry, red, and flaky on any part of the body. However, according to the National Psoriasis Foundation, up to 30% of people with psoriasis develop psoriatic arthritis, so there is a link between the two.

Psoriatic arthritis, which is common in the hands, may cause your bones to lose their shape due to the smooth ends of the bones wearing out. This condition affects men and women equally. Some symptoms may include:

  • Red and swollen joints
  • Joints that sometimes feel warm
  • Decreased joint motion and stiff-feeling joints
  • Pitting, ridging or crumbling fingernails
  • Deformed end of finger
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ASSH Fireworks Hand Hand Safety

Infographic: 6 Fireworks Safety Tips from Hand Surgeons

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Hand Safety Hand Therapy Lawnmower Tendons

Advice from a Hand Therapist: Lawnmower and Equipment Safety – Tendon Injuries

Summer is here which means more time enjoying the outdoors and working to maintain landscaping. This may mean mowing the lawn, trimming the hedges or cutting down those hanging tree limbs. These activities may require the use of equipment that has very sharp edges. In the summer, hand therapists see many injuries related to these activities. One of those being tendon injuries, which can mean a  cut of the tendon(s) in the forearm or hand that help open and close the hand. Tendon injuries can be very serious injuries, especially if not correctly addressed with surgery and rehabilitation. If you cut yourself and find a lack of ability to move a finger, thumb or wrist with your own power, you should seek medical attention immediately.

Typically, a tendon injury will require surgical repair. Hand therapy then becomes a large part of the recovery. You can find a local certified hand therapist through the American Society of Hand Therapists at www.asht.org/find-a-therapist.

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