What is an extensor tendon?
A tendon is a flexible but inelastic cord of strong tissue that lies next to the bone; they attach a muscle to bone. Extensor tendons of the upper limb are located on the back of the hands, wrists, and fingers. They allow individuals to straighten their fingers and thumbs.
Extensor tendon repair surgery repairs torn or damaged extensor tendons on the back of the fingers.
These tendons are attached to the muscles in the forearm. As these tendons continue over the fingers (digits), they become flat and thin. In the fingers, these tendons are joined by smaller tendons from the muscles in the hand. It is these small muscle tendons that allow finer movements and coordination of the fingers.
What is an extensor tendon injury?
Extensor tendons can be injured by a minor cut or jamming of the finger, causing the thin tendons to rip from their attachment to the bone. If untreated, an extensor tendon injury may make it difficult to straighten one or more joints.
Cuts on the back of the hand can injure the extensor tendons. This can make it difficult to straighten the fingers.
Below are a few common extensor tendon injuries:
- Mallet finger: This happens when an extensor tendon is cut or torn from the bone. It is common when a ball or other object strikes the tip of the finger or thumb and forcibly bends it.
- Boutonnière deformity: It is described as the flexed (bent down) position of the middle joint of the finger. This can happen from a cut or tear of the extensor tendon.