After Care and Therapy
Extensor Tendon Repair - Hand and Wrist Zone V - IX
Extensor tendons are commonly cut when there is a laceration on the back of the hand or wrist caused by a sharp object. When this happens, it is not possible to fully straighten the finger. 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 General Anaesthesia as a day case procedure. On discharge your wrist and hand will be in a plaster cast to protect the repaired tendon. Keep your arm elevated in the sling to minimise swelling. You are likely to require some pain killers for a few days.
0 – 4 Weeks
You will be seen in the clinic within 2 weeks of the operation and plaster will be removed and stitches will be taken out. You will be referred to OT (Occupational Therapy) for a custom made splint for your wrist and hand. This splint will be on the palm side of your hand and wrist (Volar splint) extending up to the PIPJ of the fingers. It will keep the wrist at 30 degrees of extension and knuckles (MCPJ) at 30 degrees of flexion. You will be allowed to bend (flex) the finger up to the splint and straighten (extend) at the knuckles gently.
4 – 6 Weeks
At four weeks it may be necessary to adjust your splint depending on your progress. Active and passive stretching will continue under the guidance of the therapist. At 6 weeks the splinting is discontinued and full movement is allowed for basic function.
6 – 12 Weeks
You will continue with the exercises and will be allowed to return to normal use with resistance and strength in the next 6 weeks.
With continued exercise and use, your finger extension will keep improving in the next 6 months.