When you suffer a tendon injury, you’re likely experiencing not only pain, but also restricted motion. Tendons connect bones to muscles, so they play a key role in much of your body’s mobility. When you have a tendon problem, trust the surgeons of Methodist Physician Group Orthopedic and Spine Center in Merrillville, Indiana, to diagnose and repair your damaged tendons. Book a consultation by phone or online today.
Any tendon in your body is at risk of injury whenever it’s overloaded or stretched past its normal range of motion. Cuts that go deep, past the skin, may also damage tendons. The most common locations for tendon damage include:
Contact sports may put you at greater risk of tendon injury. Football, rugby, and wrestling, for example, frequently place strain on tendons. One of the most common sports-related injuries affecting tendons is called “jersey finger,” where a player’s finger tendon gets pulled from the bone when caught in another player’s jersey.
If you suffer from rheumatoid arthritis, its inflammation can affect tendons, causing them to tear or rupture more easily.
Most often, your surgeon sutures together tendons through small incisions, sewing the torn ends together. Over time, they heal together just as skin does after a serious cut that requires stitches. Because of the load and strain on tendons in normal use, spontaneous healing is unlikely for completely torn tendons, unless a joint is completely immobilized with the torn ends in contact.
Sutures provide alignment and stability as the body heals. After a check of surrounding tissue, such as blood vessels and nerves, your surgeon closes the incision. Even with sutures in place, you’re likely to need a splint or other support to limit motion as your tendon heals.
In the case of tendon damage where there isn’t enough healthy tendon for a successful repair, tendon grafts provide additional tissue. Tendon tissue is harvested from another part of your body and grafted where needed.
As well as the risks that accompany any surgical procedure, a few complications may arise after tendon repair surgery. It’s possible that scar tissue forming at the site of the tendon repair could deviate from the natural shape of the tendon, which could interfere with the normal motion of the joint. This might cause you to lose some use of this joint.
Your joint may also feel stiffer than prior to your tendon injury, and the repair may leave a weak spot vulnerable to tearing again. Physical therapy and rehabilitative exercises are your best bet to aid full recovery and joint strength.