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What are the Different Treatments for a Finger Tendon Injury?

Erin J. Hill
Erin J. Hill

The different treatments for a finger tendon injury will depend on the type of injury and its severity. Resting the finger for several weeks using a splint or another stabilizing device is the most common option, although in more severe cases additional treatments may be necessary. Sometimes when the tendons are damaged extensively, corrective surgery may be performed.

The most common injury to the finger tendons is tendinitis. This can cause swelling, pain, and stiffness in the joints. There are two tendons found in each finger, and either one can be affected by tendinitis. Treatment for this type of finger tendon injury should include icing the area to bring down swelling and then splinting the affected finger for one to two weeks.

A person wearing a finger splint.
A person wearing a finger splint.

In cases of more serious finger tendon injury, like severe strains, the finger may need to be splinted or taped for much longer. Six weeks or more is needed for some injuries, sometimes with the finger splinted fully extended so that it remains immobile. Lesser injuries may only require four to six weeks.

Pain medication can be taken to reduce pain and stiffness during the healing process. The finger should not be moved and should be kept elevated when possible. Those who have professions which require a lot of typing or work with their hands may have to take time off until the finger is healed. When this is not possible, the finger should be kept wrapped with a bandage to keep it as straight as possible even when moving.

In severe cases, surgery may be needed to correct finger tendon injury. This is usually the case when a serious tear or rip has occurred. Recovery can take several weeks and sometimes months while the finger heals, and activity during this time is generally very limited.

If finger tendon injury was caused by blunt force, it is a good idea to see a doctor to ensure that the bone was not fractured. Most minor injuries should improve within two weeks, so if pain persists for longer than that, there may be a more severe underlying cause. Most injuries can be fully treated and use of the finger is often restored. For some injuries, however, early detection and treatment is necessary.

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    • A person wearing a finger splint.
      By: Rob Byron
      A person wearing a finger splint.