Tendon injuries

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A tendon is a fibrous cord of connective tissue connecting muscle to bone. Made up of mostly collagen, it has more tensile strength than muscles but far less elasticity. Due to this inelasticity, overuse of tendons commonly leads to inflammation and swelling causing pain. The following are common tendon injuries to the wrist/fingers:

  • Trigger Finger – Patients will report a chronic overuse with gripping manoeuvres e.g. holding a gun. The tendon that flexes the finger becomes swollen and inflamed making it difficult to extend the injured finger
  • Mallet Finger – Occurs after being hit on the end of a finger with a ball. As a protective mechanism the extensor tendon of the finger forcefully contracts pulling it off the bone and the end of the finger hangs into flexion
  • Jersey Finger – Typically occurs in contact sports when a person tries to grab another’s jersey as they run past. The finger is forced into extension and the flexor tendons contract forcefully and rupture, opposite to mallet finger
  • De Quervains tenosynovitis – Patients commonly report a history of repetitive side-to-side movements of the wrist with occupations such as carpentry.

Signs and Symptoms:

  • Aberrant movement about the injury site
  • Pain with movement of the injured tendon
  • Swelling
  • Squeaking with movement
  • Tenderness over muscle/tendon

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