Flexor Tendon Injuries

Flexor Tendon Injuries involve damage to the flexor tendons, which are tissues that help control movement in the hand and fingers. These injuries are significant because they can impair the ability to bend the fingers or thumb, affecting hand function.

Causes and Risk Factors

Flexor tendon injuries typically occur from cuts on the hand or fingers, often involving sharp objects like knives or glass. They can also result from sports injuries, crush injuries, or rheumatoid arthritis, which can weaken the tendons. Athletes, particularly those involved in contact sports, and individuals with occupations requiring manual labor are at higher risk.


Key symptoms include:

  • Inability to bend one or more joints of the finger.
  • Pain when bending the finger.
  • Tenderness along the finger on the palm side.
  • Numbness in the fingertip (if the nerve is also injured).
  • Diagnosis and Treatment

Diagnosis involves a physical examination, often including specific tests to assess tendon function, and sometimes imaging tests like ultrasound or MRI. Treatment usually requires surgery to repair the torn tendon. After surgery, a splint is often used to protect the repair while allowing some movement to prevent stiffness.

Recovery and Rehabilitation

Post-surgery, rehabilitation with a hand therapist is crucial. Therapy typically involves exercises to improve the finger’s range of motion and strength gradually. Full recovery can take several weeks to months, depending on the injury’s severity and the patient’s adherence to rehabilitation protocols.


Preventive measures include using protective gloves during high-risk activities and practicing safe use of sharp tools.

Flexor tendon injuries, while challenging, can be effectively treated with prompt surgical intervention and dedicated rehabilitation, allowing most individuals to regain significant function in their hands and fingers.