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Tendons and muscles
Tendons and muscles


Definition:

Tendon repair is surgery to repair damaged or torn tendons.



Alternative Names:

Repair of tendon



Description:

Tendon repair can be performed using:

  • Local anesthesia (the immediate area of the surgery is pain-free)
  • Regional anesthesia (the local and surrounding areas are pain-free)
  • General anesthesia (the patient is unconscious and pain-free)

A surgical cut is made over the injured tendon. The damaged or torn ends of the tendon are sewn together.

If the tendon has been severely injured, a tendon graft may be required. In this case, a piece of tendon from the foot, toe, or another part of the body is often used. If necessary, tendons are reattached to the surrounding connective tissue. The area is examined for injuries to nerves and blood vessels, and the cut is closed.



Why the Procedure Is Performed:

The goal of tendon repair is to bring back normal function of joints or surrounding tissues following a tendon laceration .



Risks:

Risks for any anesthesia include the following:

  • Reactions to medications
  • Problems breathing
Risks for any surgery include the following:
  • Bleeding
  • Infection
Additional risks include the following:
  • Formation of scar tissue which prevents smooth movements
  • Partial loss of use in the involved joint


After the Procedure:

Most tendon repairs are successful, allowing full joint use.



Outlook (Prognosis):

Tendon repairs can often be done in an outpatient setting. Hospital stays, if any, are short.

Healing may take 6 - 12 weeks. During that time the injured part may need to be kept still in a splint or cast. Typically, movement is returned gradually with therapy to protect the tendon as it heals.

Treatment after surgery is often needed to minimize scar tissue and maximize the use of the injured area.




Review Date: 7/17/2008
Reviewed By: Andrew L Chen, MD, MS, Orthopedist, The Alpine Clinic, Littleton, NH. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
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Wentworth-Douglass Hospital
789 Central Avenue, Dover, NH 03820
Phone: (603) 742-5252
Toll free: 1 (877) 201-7100