Flexor Tendons Injuries - Identify & Treat The Problems
The flexor muscles are located in the forearm directly above the write. They’re the muscle that move the fingers and the thumb on your hand and help you operate. The flexor tendons are simply the tissue that connects the muscles to your bone in this area. The flexor tendons are long and reach from the flexor muscles all the way through the wrist, connecting to the small bones in the thumb and fingers.
Tendons function by tightening as they stretch and connect to the muscle of any particular bone – in this case, the flexor muscles. A tear, cut, or rupture that occurs with any tendon in a sensitive area may make it impossible to bend one or several of your fingers. When one of the flexor tendons tear, the end of the tendon will pull back and gravitate toward the area that it’s still attached to.
Anatomy of Flexor Tendons
Each of our fingers contain two flexor tendons, while the thumb only has one. One tendon on our fingers is attached to the last bone, enabling us to bend the tip. This tendon is longer than its counterpart and is called the FDP tendon or flexor digitorum profundus. The other tendon found in our fingers is shorter and is known as flexor digitorum sublimis, or FDS. Its job is to bend the joint found in the middle section of each finger.
Both tendons run very shallow, susceptible to being damaged easily by car door jams, barely cut fingers when using a knife, etc.
Common Flexor Tendon Injuries
As said above, most injuries to the flexor tendons occur when they are cut. Additionally, the nerves in our fingers are located very closely to the tendons, and a cut tendon can result in minor nerve damage. This could result in the numbing of one or both sides of a finger.
Sports and weight training can also cause injuries to inflict the flexor tendons. Common sports that can aggregative these tendons are football, rugby, or wrestling. In rugby, the nickname “jersey finger” is given to a common occurrence where one player grabs the jersey of another player, only for it to get caught and sharply pulled. This “jersey finger” normally causes damage to the flexor tendons.
Flexor Tendon Injury Symptoms
Symptoms of flexor tendon injuries are few and straightforward. Some possible symptoms can include the inability to bend your finger, pain when you bend your fingers or mild swelling near your joints.
Flexor Tendon Injury Diagnosis
It’s extremely important to see a doctor whenever your fingers are in pain, particularly when one of your fingers is jammed and you cannot bend/straighten it. When you go and see your doctor, your fingers will be tested by the doctor asking you to bend and move them. Resistance may also be applied to test how strong your fingers are, with tests also being performed via an X-ray to see if there is any actual damage done to the bone.
A tetanus shot may be required to avoid any risk of infections.
Flexor Tendon Injury Treatment
To quickly treat the pain brought on by a flexor tendon injury, first aid can be applied in the form of ice. Compressions should also be implemented to the inflicted area so the flow of blood will slow to the damaged area on the finger. Once seen by a doctor, a flexor tendon injury may be treated with a splint.
For more serious injuries to the flexor tendon, such as a torn or ruptured tendon, a surgeon must sew back the tendon to the muscle or bone. The sooner this surgery occurs after injury the better.