Tendon Repair

Operative resolution for damaged tendons

Last modified: December 21, 2011

Beatrice Woods
Licensed Practical Nurse

Tendon Repair

There are hundreds of muscles in the human body. For every muscle there are tendons that act as a middleman attaching bones and muscles. The tendons are strong cords of tissue responsible for transmitting power to bones, muscles and joints. This transmission of power makes it possible for the body to perform day to day activities. The tendons often become painful, swollen and reddened. Inflammation of the tendons is known as tendonitis. Tendonitis may be caused by excessive strain on the tendons, age, and arthritis. Tendonitis may occur anywhere in the body where bone is attached to muscles.  Often tendonitis occurs in the joints. The plan of treatment for tendonitis will depend on the location and severity of the pain. Simple tendonitis is typically resolved with the cessation of the activity that is caused the pain. Resting the injured area along with ice application is needed. Binding the affected area and the use of medication to ease pain is helpful. Unresolved tendon pain after treatment may require tendon repair surgery.

What is Tendon Repair?

The surgical procedure performed to mend, repair, and restore damaged and impaired tendons and tissues. Tendon repair surgery is performed by an orthopedic surgeon.   

Diagnosing Tendonitis

The physician will perform a physical examination, evaluate the type and location of the pain along with review the patient’s medical history. X-rays of the impaired area may be taken. After physician assessment, the physician will suggest a plan of treatment. Prompt physician intervention is required at the first sign of tendon impairment to prevent the development of a chronic condition.

Risk Factors for Tendon Repair

The surgeon usually discusses common complications for tendon repair surgery with the patient prior to having the surgery.  Poor wound healing at the incision site, after surgery infection and blood clot formation are a few common complications with surgery.

Tendon Repair Procedure

The patient is made comfortable in the operating room, before the surgery the patient will be given anesthesia for pain control.  The surgeon will select the anesthesia type. The location of the impairment and pain severity will aid in making the decision. The surgical site is positioned and disinfected. The surgeon excises the skin over the affected tendon. Once the desired area has been reached the surgeon mends, reconstructs and replaces the damaged tendons and surrounding tissue, the surgeon proceeds to perform the necessary procedures to restore optimal function of any impaired areas. Once the surgeon has been satisfied the incision are sewn close and a dressing is applied. 

Recuperation from Tendon Repair

The recovery and rehabilitation period will be different for every person.  Total recovery from tendon repair will depend on the location of the tendon repair and the overall health of the individual prior to tendon repair surgery.

Cost of Tendon Repair

The cost of tendon repair will not be the same for every patient. Multiple components will be considered in the price tag including the location and the severity of the injury, the existence of and after surgery complications, the location of surgery and time spent in the hospital.   

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