Severed tendon advice from our clinical negligence experts
Tendons are made of fibrous tissue and connect muscle to bone. Most tendon injuries are caused by cuts to the hand by glass or knives.
There are two groups of tendon in the hand – extensor tendons straighten the fingers and thumb, and flexor tendons bend them.
If one or more tendons are severed there will be a loss of movement, and surgical repair will be required.
It is important that the correct diagnosis is made as soon as possible, to give the best chance of a successful repair. If diagnosis is delayed then it may be impossible to repair the tendon, due to thickening of the tendon ends or because the ends have retracted.
In this situation the damaged tendon may be replaced by a tendon graft taken from elsewhere in the body, usually the forearm or lower leg.
A successful outcome from tendon repair surgery can never be guaranteed, and tendon graft surgery in particular has a high failure rate, but early diagnosis increases the chances of success.
Missed or delayed diagnosis of a severed tendon may result in permanently restricted movement.
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