Extensor Tendon Injuries
Extensor tendons are the structures which help to straighten our fingers and to release our fingers after we make a grip.
The presence of extensor tendons under the skin makes them prone to injuries more often than flexor tendons ( which helps us to move fingers toward our palm and grasp an object ). They can be injured by trauma or in conditions where they have a tendency to thin down and rupture ( For Eg: Rheumatoid arthritis ).
Hand functions are severely affected when the extensor tendon is injured. You may not be able to lift your injured finger like other un-injured fingers. You will notice a bend in the finger.
Tendon repair methods, immobilisation methods, duration of immobilisation and regaining the function vary depending on the site of injury. Some particular sites of tendon injury are treated with immobilisation alone ( without surgery). Injuries which result in a wound often demands surgery to repair the cut ends of extensor tendons . Treatment results are often gratifying.
Mallet finger : Refers to injury of the extensor tendon towards the tip of finger.
Boutonniere deformity : Refers to injury of extensor tendon at the level of PIP joint of finger.
Both mallet and boutonniere deformity are often managed with splints alone and surgery indicated only in specified injury patterns.