About Flexor & Extensor Tendon Injuries

What is it and what are your treatment options?
Anchorage: (907) 562-2277
Wasilla: (907) 357-2267
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What are Flexor & Extensor Tendon Injuries?

The forearm and hand flexor and extensor tendons are used for important grabbing and gripping movements. Injuries to the tendons may cause patients to not be able to perform many day-to-day living movements, like eating, holding a phone, and shaking hands. A deep laceration to the hand, wrist, or forearm is the most common cause of flexor and extensor tendon injuries.

Common Causes:

  • Cuts on the arm, hand, or fingers
  • Certain sports activities can cause flexor tendon injuries.
  • Certain health conditions (rheumatoid arthritis, for example) weaken the flexor tendons and make them more likely to tear.

Common symptoms of Flexor and Extensor Tendon Injuries may include:

  • Inability to move one or more fingers
  • Forearm and/or hand tenderness and pain
  • Fingertip numbness

Patients who lacerate their forearm or hand and experience these symptoms should see an Orthopedic Physicians Alaska (OPA) Hand Specialist. A step-by-step approach is used for tendon injuries:

  • A medical history review that includes checking for osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and post-traumatic arthritis risk factors is obtained
  • A complete physical examination of the thumb, including strength and range of motion tests, is performed
  • Multiple view x-rays are ordered and reviewed to confirm the presence and determine the severity of arthritis

Common Treatments:

Partially torn tendons may be treated with nonsurgical treatment options:

A Splint or Cast

Immobilizes the hand, wrist, and part of the forearm so the tendons can heal

Physical Therapy

Stretches and strengthens the tendons after they have healed by an approved OPA physical therapist

Completely torn tendons may need to be surgically repaired. During a tendon repair procedure, Our physicians use sutures to carefully attach torn tendon ends. A custom-made splint is worn after your surgery to prevent the tendons from stretching. Hand therapy is an important part of the recovery process. Our physician and a hand therapist work together to track your progress and slowly allow you to return to normal activities. At OPA, our Board Certified and Fellowship Trained Orthopedic Hand Specialists are experts in treating flexor and extensor tendon injuries. If you are in pain and would like a treatment solution you should contact OPA to schedule an appointment at our location in Anchorage.

Schedule An Appointment

To receive an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment plan, please make an appointment with one of our Orthopedic Team Specialists at our offices conveniently located in Anchorage and Wasilla, AK.
Anchorage: (907) 562-2277
Wasilla: (907) 357-2267

OPA Hand & Wrist Team

(click a provider to view profile)

Owen L. Ala, MD

Orthopedic Specialist

Deryk Anderson, DO

Orthopedic Specialist

Tucker Drury, MD

Orthopedic Specialist

Christopher Manion, MD

Orthopedic Specialist

Our Mission

To provide the finest orthopedic surgery and musculoskeletal care in North America, offering general and specialized adult care to all Alaskans and visitors.

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