Robert Unsell MD Treats Flexor Tendon Injuries

Flexor Tendon Injuries

The flexor tendons are located on the palm side of the hand and allow the fingers to bend. An injury to the flexor tendon can make it impossible to bend your fingers or thumb.

Because flexor tendons are very close to the surface of the skin, a deep cut may likely injure a flexor tendon.  In these cases, the tendon is often cut into two pieces.  Like a rubber band, tendons are under tension as they connect the muscle to the bone.    This may result in the two tendon ends separating from one another if the tendon is completely severed.

If a tendon is torn or cut, the ends of the tendon will pull far apart, making it impossible for the tendon to heal on its own. In some cases, the blood supply to the fingers may become interrupted, requiring immediate surgical intervention.

Occasionally, flexor tendons may be partially cut or torn. With a partial tendon tear, it may still be possible to bend your finger, but not completely. These types of tears can be difficult to diagnose. If a deep cut has occurred, it is important to seek medical attention immediately.

Symptoms of a Flexor Tendon Injury

  • An open injury, such as a cut, on the palm side of your hand, often where the skin folds as the finger bends
  • Inability to bend one or more joints of your finger
  • Pain when bending a finger
  • Tenderness along your finger on the palm side of your hand
  • Fingertip numbness

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Meet the Doctor

After graduating from Loma Linda School of Medicine Dr. Unsell spent more than a decade serving at Loma Linda in several positions including the Assistant Professor of Orthopedics as well as the Assistant director of the Hand Fellowship Program. He has been involved with the training of 35 hand fellows, 15 of which now hold academic teaching positions.