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Sports Medicine

Torn Tendon

05/09/2000

Question:

I recently tore the tendon from my middle knuckle on my pinky finger, and it took a piece of bone with it. It has been splinted for 6 days but there has been no change in the swelling or pain. The doctor seemed to think the tendon would reattach. Is that possible or should I be doing more?

Answer:

You mentioned you recently tore a tendon from the middle knuckle of your pinky finger, which took a piece of bone with it. Your finger has been splinted for 6 days, but pain and swelling are unchanged. Treatment for this injury will depend on exactly where the tendon was torn, and how large of a fragment broke off. In some cases, splinting will be sufficient for the bone to reattach, but in others, surgery may be necessary to achieve the best functional and cosmetic result. If your doctor specializes in the evaluation and treatment of musculoskeletal/orthopedic injuries, perhaps he or she can provide a specific explanation about why splinting was chosen over surgery in your case. To be effective, splinting typically must be continued, without removing the splint, for 6 to 8 weeks, and sometimes longer.

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Response by:

Brian L Bowyer, MD Brian L Bowyer, MD
Clinical Associate Professor
Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University