Flexor tendon injuries affect how well you can bend your fingers and are usually a result of a cut or sudden injury.

Flexor Tendon Injury

Orthopaedics Infoline

02 8382 0515

Email Us


What is a flexor tendon injury?

The flexor tendons run all the way from the forearm, down to your palm and into your fingers. They have an important job to do as they allow you to bend your fingers and make a fist. If that tendon gets injured, this movement becomes limited. A flexor tendon injury usually occurs because of some kind of cut to the palm – but not all flexor tendon injuries happen this way. The tendon can also rupture through wear and tear, or as a result of sudden impact which pulls the tendon away from the bone. Symptoms of tendon flexor injury include:

  • A wound across the palm or fingers
  • A finger lying out straighter than the others
  • Difficulty bending a finger
  • Pain and possible swelling

How is it treated?

When the flexor tendons are cut or torn, they cannot heal by themselves as they immediately retract away from each other when separated, just like a rubber band. In very mild cases, your doctor may recommend a splint along with hand therapy as suitable treatment. In more severe cases, surgery may be required to repair the injured tendons. During this procedure, the torn ends of the flexor tendon are sutured back together, and the hand is put in a splint to protect the tendon while it heals. Hand therapy and exercises form an important part of your recovery as it helps your hand restore normal strength and functionality, as well as helping to prevent any scar tissue form that might hinder movement.

How long does it last?

Flexor tendon injuries usually require immediate medical attention, particularly if they are the result of a cut. Recovery from surgery will depend on the extent of the operation, but your hand is likely to be in a splint for 5-6 weeks before gradually returning to normal activities under the advice of your treating doctor. It can take up to 4 months for the flexor tendon to regain full strength.

Find a hospital with orthopaedic services

Our Hospitals