How do you know when to see a hand surgeon for tendon injuries? While there are different types of hand tendon injuries (flexor and extensor) the important thing to know is what to do if you believe you may have one.

In order to avoid permanent damage, deformities, or loss of function it is important to have any hand or tendon injuries looked at by a doctor or hand surgeon as soon as possible.

Any number of things can cause hand tendon injuries, including:

  • cuts
  • trauma
  • sports injuries
  • crush injuries
  • animal bites
  • car accidents
  • broken glass

When To See A Hand Surgeon For Tendon Injuries

How do you know when you should be concerned about your hands if you have suffered an injury? If you have any of these symptoms, you may benefit from having it looked at by a hand surgeon. Look for:

  • pain with motion
  • skin laceration
  • inability to extend the joint (in some, but not all cases)
  • numbness
  • blood underneath fingernails
  • tenderness in side of hand where injury occured

If you have suffered a hand injury that includes a laceration, it is possible you may have cut a tendon. Tendons are close to the surface of the skin, so in the case of a cut or laceration, you may have injured one of your tendons.

An exam can diagnose if your recent hand injury has also injured any of the tendons in your hand. If your hand injury is older, your doctor may require an MRI to diagnose any problems you are experiencing. The good news is that treatment may be either non-surgical, or surgical depending on the injury. If damage is minimal, a conservative approach such as hand splinting or hand therapy may help.

If surgery is needed, the tendons can be repaired if the injury was within the last three weeks. For injuries older than three weeks, tendons can be repaired by grafting non-injured adjacent tendons. Afterward, you will undergo several weeks of hand therapy as indicated by your surgeon.

[Related article: Recovery Time After Hand Surgery]

Dr. Yospur completed a fellowship in surgery of the hand with the Division of Hand Surgery at Maricopa Integrated Health System in Phoenix and is able to help evaluate, diagnose, and treat complications of the hand, including tendon injuries. Whether it is due to an accident, trauma, sports injury, overuse injury, animal bite or another cause, contact us to schedule an evaluation for your hand injury today.