Whenever you use your fingers and they bend different ways, then your flexor muscles are at work. These are muscles in your hand that are connected together by tendons. The muscles themselves are located in the hand and go all the way up to the forearm right near your elbow. Where the muscle ends in the hand, flexor tendons take up the job, run the length of your fingers and then connect to smaller muscles in your fingertips. They are located on the palm side of your hand, running up through your wrist, and since there isnt much tissue covering them, they can be injured fairly easily.
What Causes Damage to Flexor Tendons?
The tendon could become severed if a deep cut occurs to the palm or wrist. The tendon will pull away from itself as soon as it has been cut or torn, and that means your finger will not be able to bend. If the tendon has not been completely cut or torn, then the finger may still bend, but the bending may be very painful and the tendon will eventually tear all the way.
You can also develop tendonitis in the flexor tendons, which means they have become inflamed and painful. Tendonitis will heal over time and not cause any permanent damage.
Tendons, like other tissues in your body, can heal themselves if the two cut ends are brought together through surgery. There is no way a completely cut or torn tendon will heal on its own. Your doctor will need to determine the nature of the cut or tear and then choose the right surgical method for repairing it. Often, when the tendon has been damaged, tissues in the area will be damaged as well, and they may need repair during surgery also.
After you have had surgery to repair the tendon, then you will need to keep the finger immobilized and that is why you will need to wear a splint. After several weeks, you will be able to move your finger, but only when you are going through hand therapy. Generally, you will need to wait up to six weeks to move your finger much at all and three months before you can use your finger as normal.
However, you will likely never gain proper use of your finger if you do not go through therapy. This therapy is required to help build up strength in the hand, prevent scars from stiffening, etc. So, if you have a torn tendon repaired, be sure to follow up with therapy as advised. This therapy could last anywhere from a few weeks to a few months depending on your injury.
Your hand is an intricate thing, and each tendon within it plays a very important role. If the flexor tendons have been damaged, then you will not be able to bend your fingers as needed. It will be important that you seek the help of a physician so that the damage can be properly repaired and so that you can use your hand properly again.