Tendon repair is surgical repair of damaged or torn tendons.
Tendon repair can be performed using local anesthesia (the immediate area of the surgery is pain-free), regional anesthesia (the local and surrounding areas are pain-free), or general anesthesia (the patient is unconscious and pain-free). A cut is made over the injured tendon. The damaged or torn ends of the tendon are sewn together.
If the tendon has been injured severely, a tendon graft may be required. In this case, a piece of tendon from the foot or toe, or another part of the body, is often used. If necessary, tendons are reattached to the surrounding connective tissue. The area is examined for injuries to nerves and blood vessels, and the cut is closed.
The goal of tendon repair is to bring back normal function of joints or surrounding tissues following a tendon laceration.
Risks for any anesthesia include the following:
- Reactions to medications
- Problems breathing
- Formation of scar tissue which prevents smooth movements
- Partial loss of use in the involved joint
Most tendon repairs are successful, allowing full joint use.
Tendon repairs can often be done in an outpatient setting. Hospital stays, if any, are short. Healing, however, can take as long as 6 weeks, during which the injured part may need to be immobilized in a splint or a cast.
Treatment after surgery is often needed, in order to minimize scar tissue and maximize use after repair.
Reviewed By: Thomas N. Joseph, MD, Private Practice specializing in Orthopaedics, subspecialty Foot and Ankle, Camden Bone & Joint, Camden, SC. Reviewprovided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.