how to Orthopedic surgery hand tendons

Tendon Hand Surgery: Reasons, Procedures & Recovery

By PeekMed on September, 16 2016

The most prominent tendons in the hand join muscles right from the arms to the fingers. If any of the tendons get into serious damage, people need you to repair and help restore the movement.

When the muscles contract, the tendons pull the bones and cause the joint to move. When a tendon damage occurs, movement may be seriously limited, most of the times the patient feel weak or painful.

A tendon hand surgery occurs to bring back a normal movement to a joint. Before you put someone into it, you need to explain which procedures will be taken and how the recovery for this type of surgery is. If you take some time to do this, you will earn the patient’s trust, which is something you should look for in every injury’s scenario.

The reasons for a tendon hand surgery to happen are:

  • Hand injuries;
  • Rheumatic diseases, such as osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, that damages the structure of the hand;
  • Degenerative changes of the structures in the hand;
  • Problems or defects that are present at birth or congenital;
  • Infections.

A tendon repair may involve making an incision on the wrist, hand or finger, so you can locate the ends of the divided tendon and stitch them together. If there isn’t enough tendon to reconnect, you may need to perform a tendon implant.

There are 3 types of tendon repair:

  • Primary: happens within 24 hours and it’s usually a direct surgery to fix the injury;
  • Delayed primary: happens after a few days but there is still an opening in the skin from the wound;
  • Secondary: happens between 2 or 5 weeks or longer after the injury. Other tendons from other areas of the body are inserted in place of the damaged tendon or when more complex procedures may be used.

The anesthesia administered on this surgery can be local, regional or general depending on the extension of the damage. Most surgeries carries the risks of anesthesia and bleeding, besides that additional risks that may be include are:

  • Infection;
  • Incomplete healing;
  • Loss of feeling or movement of the hands or fingers;
  • Blood clots may form.

At home, the recovery of a tendon surgery repair will depend on how badly the patient’s hand was damaged. They may be able to go home on the same day and if that happens there’s some procedures that you need to keep in their minds.

Healing can take up until 12 weeks. The injured tendon may need to be supported with splint or cast in the meantime.

Tendon repairs can be really successful if they’re done along with the proper physical therapy.

In some cases, long-term complications may develop. It’s important for you as a doctor pass on a realistic vision of your patient’s condition.  They will be able to return to work depending on the nature of their job and the type and location of the injury.

There’s a congress in Portugal, which may be exciting for you, if you want to share some of your thoughts on hand surgery and its many fields. The XXIV Hand Surgery Congress happens on 2016 September 23rd and 24th, in Peniche (Portugal) and challenges surgeons, physiatrists and therapists to share their knowledge and experiences at one place. There’s also place for submit your papers and be part of the scientific program as a public speaker.

However, before anything else you should warn your patient that the tendon repair will still give them a better result than not having a surgery.


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