What are extensor tendon injuries?

It is important to note that there are 27 bones and twice as many muscles present in the human hand but they could not properly function without the extensor tendons. Minimal extensor tendon damage can easily cripple the dexterity of the affected hand as well as the movement of the fingers. If this issue is simply ignored, it will only worsen as time passes by. It is important to provide timely first aid care and seek medical care as soon as possible.

What you need to know about the extensor tendons?

The extensor tendons are situated along the rear part of the hands and fingers. They are attached to the muscles in the forearms and responsible for straightening the fingers and the thumb. These extensor tendons are also connected to the surrounding muscles in order to allow the complex and delicate movements of the fingers.

Extensor tendons

The extensor tendons are situated along the rear part of the hands and fingers.


Always remember that any injury to the extensor tendons will make it difficult for the individual to straighten his/her fingers or the thumb. In most cases, the fingers or thumb will often sag. If the individual tries to straighten the fingers or thumb, it can only trigger pain.

What are the causes of extensor tendon injuries?

The extensor tendon injuries that are likely to occur in some individuals can be caused by some form of trauma. Take note that the exposed location of these tendons along the rear part of the hands and fingers leaves them prone to injuries or trauma. Even a minor cut can cause substantial damage on these tendons. If the fingers are jammed, it can cause the tendons to rip apart or even detach from the bone.

Types of extensor tendon injuries

If an extensor tendon injury triggers the last joint of a particular finger to sag, it is a condition called as mallet finger. In case the injury causes the finger to curve in a downward manner at the central knuckle, it is known as a Boutonniere deformity.

Treatment for extensor tendon injuries

Always bear in mind that any extensor tendon injury would require appropriate treatment as soon as possible. If the condition is not treated right away, the affected tendon will develop scar tissue that has the tendency to adhere to the bone and any effort to straighten the finger will be difficult.

In case the injury to the extensor tendon is caused by a cut, stitches are needed to repair the damage. Nevertheless, if a tear occurs due to jammed fingers, the injury is treated by the application of a splint. Once a splint is applied, it immobilizes the tendon and holds it in place so that it can heal properly. In severe cases, a pin might be inserted into the bones to secure the tendon in place and a splint is used to further help with the healing. If you want to learn how to create a splint, click here.