After Care and Therapy
Extensor Tendon Repair – within finger Zone I-IV
Extensor tendons are commonly cut when there is a laceration on the back of fingers caused by a sharp object. When this happens, it is not possible to fully straighten the finger joints. Some extension may still be possible. Repair can be carried out surgically but after care and splinting is very important to get a satisfactory outcome. The operation is done under Local or General Anaesthesia as a day case procedure. On discharge your finger will be splinted to keep it straight. Keep arm elevated in the sling to minimise swelling. You are likely to require some pain killers for a few days.
0 – 6 Weeks
You will be seen in the clinic at about 2 weeks. The bandage will be removed and stitches will be taken out. A splint is then used to keep the finger straight for a total of 6 weeks.
Zone I (Open Mallet Injury)
In these injuries the tendon has been cut close to the last joint (DIPJ) of the finger. Mallet splints are used for these for a period of 6 weeks and then the finger is gradually allowed to be exercised. It may be necessary to keep the splint for night time use for a further four weeks.
Zone II III IV
In these injuries the tendon has been cut at or on either side of the middle joint (PIPJ) of the finger. A static splint keeping the finger straight is used for a period of four weeks. Thereafter a dynamic splint (spring loaded) splint is used for 2 weeks. This splint keeps the finger straight at rest but allows the finger to be bent. After 6 weeks the finger is fully mobilised for normal use.
With continued use and exercise the finger continues to improve slowly in the next 6 months.