Home  > Blog > Hand Therapy & Customized Splinting > Finger, Hand, Wrist, Forearm & Elbow Conditions > Extensor Tendon Injury Hand Therapy

“Working with a knowledgeable hand therapist can make the difference between success and failure in complex hand surgical cases. The therapist extends the continuum of our care, as well as functioning as coach and trainer for our patients.”

Marybeth Ezaki, MD, Past President, American Society for Surgery of the Hand

In Phoenix Rehab, our senior hand therapists are experienced licensed and dedicated therapists (physiotherapists and/or occupational therapists) who specialized ONLY in the rehabilitation, treatment and management of painful fingers, hands, wrists, forearm & elbow conditions, because of interest, passion and expertise.

Extensor Tendon Injury Hand Therapy

Our extensor tendons are located on the back side of the hand, and are visible especially when the fingers are clawed. These tendons attach to muscles in the forearm and allow a person to straighten the fingers and thumb (extensors are called so because they help "extend" or straighten).

Extensor tendons also allow us to

  • make the peace sign (or high five)
  • to perform the hitchhiking maneuver
  • to open the fingers in order to release an object in the hand

How do extensor tendons become injured?

The extensor tendons can be injured by a cut from a sharp object or when a finger is “jammed” while playing sports.

Other ways in which the extensor tendons become injured include

Conditions such as arthritis can also cause extensor tendon problems.

Example of “Baseball” or “Mallet Finger” extensor tendon injury at tip of finger

What are the possible treatments for an extensor tendon injury?

If an extensor tendon injury is suspected, it is important to visit a doctor as soon as possible.

An untreated injury can lead to the permanent

  • inability to straighten the fingers or thumb
  • and loss of motion in the hand

The location and extent of the injury will determine the necessary treatment.

Some extensor tendon injuries can be treated solely with the use of an customized splint to immobilize healing tendons while other injuries will require surgery.

Your doctor will evaluate whether you need to be referred to a qualified hand surgeon or to our senior hand therapist for treatment.

What can a hand therapist do for me?

Our senior hand therapist provides specialized care including non-operative and post-surgical treatment for extensor tendon injuries.

A specialized hand therapy program may include a

The physician, our senior hand therapists and patient work together as a team in order to achieve the best possible outcomes after an extensor tendon injury.

Example of orthosis for “Mallet Finger”

Patients may also receive the following hand therapy treatment modalities: