Tendons are the tough, fibrous bands that connect the muscles to the bones. They appear throughout the body and provide an important role in your everyday motion. When one of these tendons is torn or pulled, it can seriously affect your ability to use your arm and hand.
Tendon problems often happen because of the activities we do, but sometimes a persistent problem is actually something more serious. People often confuse tendon problems with a torn muscle and misdiagnose themselves. Tendon problems are very common, and often fall under the same categories.
De Quervain’s tenosynovitis is painful condition which affects the thumbs. Sharp pains will be felt when you move the thumb, and are only made worse when you grab and hold something. The most common cause for the condition is overuse of the wrist and thumb. This is why you’ll see this condition a lot with former tennis players and golfers.
The number one symptom of De Quervain’s is pain at the joint of the thumb. There will also most likely be some swelling associated with it as well. Treatments are available to help with this pain, and the earlier you can get help the better.
Extensor Tendon Injuries
Extensor tendons are found in the hands and feet. They are responsible for the movement of the fingers, toes, ankles and wrists. When they get inflamed, it can cause pressure on the surrounding tissues and make it nearly impossible to bend the fingers and toes. The most common cause of extensor tendonitis is rapid use of the tendons in a short period of time. athletes and especially musicians are prone to this condition.
The best way to treat this condition is rest. Taking time off of the contributing factor can go a long way in allowing the tendons to heal. However, if that’s impossible, medication and therapies are available as well.
Flexor Tendon Injuries
Flexor tendons are found in the fingers and allow them to bend and pivot at the knuckles. Exterior injuries to the tendons can include sprains and strains, but more severe injuries as well. These injuries are commonly caused by accidents or as a result of playing contact sports. Interior injuries, such as tendonitis, occur over time and are mostly due to overuse. Athletes and musicians are susceptible to these types of injuries as are professional gardeners and builders.
When flexor tendons get injured they swell up and make it difficult to open and close the fingers. If a more serious injury happens, like a tendon being severed, surgery may be needed.
When the tendons of the fingers become inflamed, they can sometimes cause the fingers or thumb to be stuck in a bent position. This condition is called “trigger finger” (or trigger thumb), and can be extremely annoying and painful. A swollen tendon develops scar tissue, which prevents it from moving in its normal fashion. Sometimes the tendon will pop out of position and leave the finger bent.
Treatment for this condition initially calls for rest, but a splint can be placed around the finger or thumb if the need arises. The recovery time depends on how severe the trigger finger is, but can take up to six weeks.
Tendon problems often have the same basic symptoms and causes, but the pain they create is anything but basic. If you’ve noticed any tightening or swelling in your tendons, call the Arora Hand Surgery offices right away for your tendon diagnosis.