Tendon Repair

ExitCare ImageYou have an injured tendon. This is a cord like structure that connects muscles to bones. Muscles and tendons work together to move your arms, legs, fingers, and toes. Your doctor may repair your tendon by sewing it back together. Following this repair the tendon needs to be immobilized (made to not move) and not used to allow it to heal. Sometimes the condition of the wound and the type of damage done may make it necessary to simply clean and repair the wound and then go back in and repair the tendon in about one week to ten days to obtain a better result. Sometimes x-rays are required to make sure there is no additional boney injury. With complete rupture (break) of a tendon, surgical repair with casting is necessary. Surgery allows the surgeon to put the tendon back together. The cast is used to allow the repair time to heal. The injury may be put in a caste or immobilized for 6 to 10 weeks. Immobilization means that the tendon injured is kept in position with a cast or splint. Once your caregiver feels you have healed well enough following this injury, they will provide exercises you can do to rehabilitate (make better) the injured tendon.

HOME CARE INSTRUCTIONS

  • Do not use the injured tendon for as long as directed by your caregiver.

  • Rest the tendon as directed. Do not use it for lifting, walking, etc.

  • Leave the splint or dressing in place for as long as directed by your caregiver. Return for your first dressing change as directed.

  • Keep the dressing clean and dry.

  • Keep the injured area raised above the level of your heart as much as possible for the first week.

SEEK MEDICAL CARE IF:

  • You have increased bleeding (more than a small spot) from the wound or from beneath your cast or splint.

  • You have redness, swelling, or increasing pain in the wound or from beneath your cast or splint.

  • You have pus coming from the wound or from beneath the cast or splint.

  • You notice a bad smell coming from the wound or dressing or from beneath your cast or splint.

  • You develop increasing pain and swelling, not controlled with medicine.

SEEK IMMEDIATE MEDICAL CARE IF:

  • You have a fever.

  • You develop a rash.

  • You have difficulty breathing.

  • You have any allergic problems.