Work Injury: Hand Tendon Laceration – How Occupational Therapy Can Get You Back to Work Faster!

Working with glass or knives, operating machines, or working with various cutting equipment poses risks for accidental hand injuries. One common injury is the laceration of tendons involved in the hand. The hand is composed of flexor tendons which assist with grasping, picking up, and gripping items, as well as extensor tendons which assist in opening the hand to let items go or release grip. Symptoms of a tendon laceration can vary, but most commonly include pain with hand movements, swelling, loss of function of hand or fingers, numbness, and damage to other surrounding structures.

Most often this injury results in immediate surgery followed by therapy to regain functional movement of the hand. Initial therapy treatment will focus on pain control and tendon healing such as ice, heat, modalities, scar mobilization, and soft tissue mobilization. This will be followed by range of motion exercises to regain mobility of fingers and hand such as tendon glides, joint mobilization, finger stretches, and wrist stretches. Upon minimizing pain and increasing range of motion, therapy will then focus on regaining strength and fine motor dexterity in order to regain functional use of the hand.  Simulated work tasks will be incorporated to ensure appropriate range of motion, strength, and dexterity is regained in order to engage in daily work tasks. Therapy is an important part of the recovery process and can lead to faster recovery and return back to work.

If you have questions or concerns, or if you have recently had a work injury, call and schedule a free screening with Choice Therapy today at 218.444.8280!

Marlee Westrum – Occupational Therapist