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Healing Procedures After A Hand Tendon Surgery

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If you have injured one of your hands and have cut or ruptured one of your tendons, then surgery may be needed to stitch the two ends of the tendons back together. If a flexor tendon is in need of repair, then you will need to seek out an experienced and competent hand surgery specialist to carry out the operation. Once the operation is completed, you will need to go through some fairly extensive healing. Prepare yourself for this by reading through some of the aspects of the healing process.

 You Will Need A Hand Splint

Tendons are tissues the connect muscles to the bones, and the tissues must be extremely tough and flexible to do their job. Specifically, the tendons pull on the bones when the muscles contract so the body can move in conjunction with the muscles. Tendons are made from a fibrous collagen material, and while the ends of the tendons can be stitched together, very little pressure can be placed on the tissues as they heal. Collagen strands will build between the two ends of the tendon, but this takes some time. If you place stress on the tendon while the healing process is taking place, the new collagen bands can snap.

To keep your hand immobile while the tendon begins the healing process, you will need to wear a hand splint. The splint will help to keep your hand in a position of safe immobilization (POSI). Your hand will appear slightly cupped in this position with the wrist bent at a gentle angle upward. A soft hand splint with a rigid support that runs underneath the fingers and the wrist will likely be provided.

When you are given the splint, you will typically be asked to wear it at all times after your surgery. Tendons must go through a healing process for several months, so be prepared to wear your splint 24 hours a day for several weeks and then most of the day for several weeks after that. The splint should have velcro straps that can be tightened around the brace, and these straps should be tight.

You Will Need To Massage The Area

Tendon surgeries are often quite successful in restoring hand function. However, this is dependent on whether or not the healing process goes smoothly. Sometimes only partial movement is restored to the tendon, and you may feel some tingling or numbness in the hand as well. These sensations are linked to the formation of scar tissue around the tendon. Specifically, the collagen bands that bind the two ends of the tendon together can sometimes overgrow or extend relatively far outside of the repair area. This can keep the tendon from moving smoothly, and the extra tissue can place pressure on the nerves that sit near the tendon.

To reduce the overgrowth of collagen and also to minimize scar tissue around the incision area, you will need to massage the surgical region several times a day. A typical rehabilitation schedule involves hourly massages for the first three weeks of the healing period. 

To complete the massage, you will need to remove your splint gently while keeping your wrist and hand in the same bent position. Rest your hand on a solid surface with the first facing upward. Place a small amount of hand cream or lotion provided by your surgeon on the incision area. Use your index and middle finger or your non-surgical hand, and gently rub the area in a circular motion. This will help to break up bits of scar tissue and collagen that has overgrown.

If you need hand surgery to repair one of your tendons, then you will need to go through some extensive healing afterwards. Healing involves the use of splint as well a massage technique. There are likely other things you will need to do, so make sure to discuss this with your surgeon. For more information, visit a site like