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Home > Services > Orthopedics > Hand Center > Hand & Arm Injuries > Finger Flexor Tendon Injury

Finger Flexor Tendon Injury

Tendons connect muscles to bone. The fingers have tendons that run all the way up to the finger tips. The tendons on the palm side let you curl your fingers. A flexor tendon injury is damage to these tendons. When the tendons are damaged, you can lose your ability to bend your finger(s).

Healthy Flexor Tendons of the Hand

flexor tendon

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Causes

Flexor tendon injures most commonly occur as a cut or laceration to the hand. Other causes include:

  • Damage to the tendon from:
    • A cut to fingers on the palm side
    • A sports injury:
      • Stretching of tendon
      • Jersey finger
    • Rheumatoid arthritis

Risk

Factors that may increase your chance of a flexor tendon injury include:

  • Participating in certain sports, such as:
    • Rugby
    • Football
    • Wrestling
  • Rheumatoid arthritis

Symptoms

Symptoms may include:

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Tenderness
  • Inability to bend finger
  • Cut to hand or fingers
  • Loss of sensation

Diagnosis & Treatment

Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. Your doctor will perform a physical exam and ask you to bend and straighten your fingers, while checking them for sensation, blood flow and strength. 

Medications

Depending on the type of injury, you may receive antibiotics to prevent infection.

Surgery

Most patients with this type of injury require surgery. Your hand surgeon may sew the tendon back together or sew the tendon back to the muscle.

Rehabilitation

After surgery, you will be given a splint to protect your hand. Your doctor will tell you how long to wear it. It may be up to two months. A physical therapist or occupational therapist will work with you to regain your finger strength and range of motion.

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Content was created using EBSCO’s Health Library. Edits to original content made by Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia. This information is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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