+ What is tendon repair surgery?
Tendon repair is surgery done to treat a torn or otherwise damaged tendon. Tendons are cord or band-like tissues that connect muscles to bone. When the muscles contract, the tendons pull the bones and cause the joints to move.
Tendon injuries can occur due to accidental trauma or assault. Road traffic accidents, machinery injuries and injuries by glass or knife commonly cause tendon disruptions. Assault is usually by a fight bite on the knuckles.
Tendons of the hand or foot may be affected. Tendons in the hand are present both in the front and the back of the hand. The front tendons cause the fingers to bend forwards and form a fist while the tendons at the back cause the fingers to straighten.
When tendon damage occurs, movement may be absent or seriously limited. The cut or damaged area may feel weak or painful.
Treatment: Surgery to restore normal joint movement.
+ How is tendon repair done?
Anaesthesia: General or local.
Generally, during tendon repair a surgeon will:
- Make one or more small incisions (cuts) in the skin over the damaged area to expose the damaged tendons; all relevant structures are identified and checked to see if they are intact.
- Tendon ends are identified and repaired to get a full range of movement.
- Sew the torn ends of the tendon together
After surgery, a splint is placed to reduce undue movements of fingers and thumb so as to allow adequate tendon healing.
+ Aftercare :
Healing may take as long as 6-8 weeks, and another month for strengthening, during which the injured part may be immobilized in a splint or cast. To reduce swelling and pain, they should keep the injured limb lifted above the level of the heart as much as possible for the first few days after surgery.
Gradual exercises are started immediately within the splint and over the next three weeks, various exercises are explained so as to regain full movement.