Flexor tendon injury

Flexor tendons are cord-like structures in the hand that are responsible for the movement of the fingers and thumb toward the palm. Injury to the flexor tendons can cause pain and result in the loss of movement in one or more joints in the hand.


Flexor tendon injuries often occur from a palm-side cut of the finger, hand, wrist, or arm. Ruptures, inflammation, and forceful pulls against the tendon are also common injuries. In cases of laceration, structures such as nerves and blood vessels can also be damaged.


Common symptoms of flexor tendon injuries include cuts on the palm side of the hand, wrist, or arm, pain from bending a finger, inability to bend a finger, tenderness, and numbness in the fingertip. Swelling and bruising may also occur, but are less common.


In order to properly diagnose flexor tendon injuries, a physician will ask you to bend and straighten your fingers. Hand sensation and blood flow may also be tested to determine if blood vessels or nerves were damaged. In some cases, x-rays may be used to identify damage to bones in the hand or wrist.


Strained flexor tendons will require rest, anti-inflammatory medications, and physical therapy. Flexor tendons that have been cut or damaged may require surgery to restore full use to the hand.

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