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How Long Does It Take for a Finger Flexor Tendon to Heal?

How Long Does It Take for a Finger Flexor Tendon to Heal?

Finger flexor tendon injuries limit the capacity to bend fingers down to the palm. The healing time for a finger flexor tendon injury can vary depending on the severity of the injury and the individual’s healing process. Mild to moderate injuries typically take 6-8 weeks with proper treatment, while severe injuries or those requiring surgery may take several months to fully recover. If you are recovering from a finger flexor tendon, consult Dr. Stephen L. Helgemo, Jr. MD, at the Florida Hand Center for proper guidance. For more information, contact us or book an appointment online. We have convenient locations in Fort Myers, FL, and Port Charlotte, FL to serve you.

How Long Does It Take for a Finger Flexor Tendon to Heal? | Florida Hand Center Near Me in Fort Myers, and Port Charlotte FL
How Long Does It Take for a Finger Flexor Tendon to Heal? | Florida Hand Center Near Me in Fort Myers, and Port Charlotte FL

Table of Contents:

What does a flexor tendon injury look like?
What causes flexor tendon injuries?
How does an orthopedic hand doctor treat a flexor tendon injury?
How long does a damaged finger tendon take to heal?

What does a flexor tendon injury look like?


A flexor tendon injury can significantly impact the functionality of your hand. One of the most noticeable signs of this injury is the inability to bend one or more fingers or the thumb. This happens because the flexor tendons, which control this movement, are damaged.
 
Furthermore, pain at the site of the injury is common, especially when trying to move the affected finger. Swelling can also occur, making the area appear larger and more tender. You may experience numbness on one or both sides of the affected finger. This indicates possible nerve damage, which may accompany tendon injuries.
 
If the blood vessels are also damaged due to the injury, you may notice a loss of blood flow to the finger. This can lead to white or purple discoloration and signals an urgent need for medical attention. If you suspect a flexor tendon injury, it’s crucial to see a doctor as promptly as possible to alleviate your discomfort and prevent complications.

What causes flexor tendon injuries?


Flexor tendon injuries typically occur from either a cut or a forceful impact on the palm side of your fingers, hand, wrist, or forearm. A deep cut on the palm side of the hand, wrist, or forearm can sever the flexor tendons, making it impossible to bend one or more joints in the finger. These injuries often happen during accidents involving sharp objects, such as broken glass.
 
Certain sports, particularly those that involve grabbing or pulling, can lead to flexor tendon injuries. For example, jersey finger is a common sports injury that occurs when a player grabs another player’s jersey and the finger is pulled with great force, tearing the tendon. This injury is common in sports like football, rugby, and wrestling.
 
In addition, activities that require significant hand strength and repetitive motion, such as rock climbing, can stretch or tear the tendons and their sheaths. The constant strain on the tendons during these activities increases the risk of flexor tendon injury. Furthermore, certain health conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, can weaken the flexor tendons and make them more susceptible to tearing or rupturing.

How does an orthopedic hand doctor treat a flexor tendon injury?


When a flexor tendon injury occurs, it’s crucial to seek medical attention promptly. During your visit, the doctor will examine your hand, clean any open wounds, and, in some cases, close them with stitches to reduce the risk of infection and promote healing. To protect the injured tendon and other structures, your hand will be placed in a splint.
 
Flexor tendons cannot heal on their own if the ends are not touching. Therefore, most flexor tendon injuries require surgical repair. This surgery is typically performed within 7 to 10 days of the injury. During the process, the surgeon will use special sutures to reconnect the torn ends of the tendon.
 
After surgery, your hand will be placed in a splint to limit movement and support a rapid recovery. Your fingers and wrist will be positioned in a bent position to reduce tension on the repaired tendon. While stiffness after surgery is common, it usually subsides with hand therapy, in which a specialist will help you regain movement and strength in your injured hand.

How long does a damaged finger tendon take to heal?


Generally, it takes about 3 to 4 months for a flexor tendon injury to heal completely. After surgical repair, your hand will be placed in a splint. This is usually worn for about 6 to 8 weeks. Regular follow-up appointments with your healthcare provider are essential for monitoring your progress and ensuring that the tendon is healing properly.
 
Typically, around 8 weeks post-surgery, your doctor will give you the green light to begin to slowly reintroduce normal activities, but full, unrestricted use of your hand typically takes 3 to 4 months. It’s important to follow your surgeon’s and hand therapist’s instructions closely to avoid re-injury. Contact us today to request an appointment online. We have convenient locations in Fort Myers, FL, and Port Charlotte, FL. We serve patients from Port Charlotte FL,  Fort Myers FL, Punta Gorda FL, Harbour Heights FL, Cape Coral FL, Estero FL, Lake Suzy FL,  Charlotte Harbor FL, Murdock FL, Solana FL, and surrounding areas.

 

Locations - Florida Hand Center in Fort Myers, FL and Port Charlotte, FL

Port Charlotte

  • 18344 Murdock Circle, Port Charlotte, FL 33948
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Fort Myers

  • 13710 Metropolis Ave. Suite 103, Fort Myers, FL 33912
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