Optimizing independent finger flexion with zone V flexor repairs using the Massachusetts General Hospital flexor tenorrhaphy and early protected active motion

Bradon J. Wilhelmi, Robert H. Kang, David J. Wages, W. P.Andrew Lee, James W. May

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Purpose: Independent FDS action has been cited to be problematic with repair of multiple tendons in zone V owing to adhesion formation between the flexor digitorum superficialis (FDS) and the flexor digitorum profundus (FDP) tendons. Of the several described flexor repair techniques the ideal tendon repair should be strong enough to allow for early active motion to minimize adhesion formation and maximize tendon healing. Biomechanical studies have proven the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) repair to be strong enough to allow for early active motion. The purpose of this study was to examine the use of the MGH technique for zone V flexor tendon injuries to allow for early protected active motion to achieve independent finger flexion through better differential gliding of the tendons. Methods: We performed a retrospective review 168 zone V finger flexor tendon repairs for 29 patients performed consecutively over 4 years when early active motion was not contraindicated. The same early protected active motion protocol was used for all of these patients. We reviewed total active motion, independent flexion, rupture, and need for tenolysis. These injuries involved 103 FDS and 65 FDP tendons to 103 fingers. The median follow-up period was 24 weeks. Of these 29 patients 19 were men and 10 were women. The average patient age was 28 years. Results: The total active motion for these zone V repairs was 236°+/-5° Overall 97 of 103 digits attained good to excellent function and 88 of 103 developed some differential glide. One of these patients required a tenolysis. Three repairs ruptured in 1 patient owing to suture breakage that was associated with noncompliance with the dorsal extension block splint. Conclusions: Our retrospective review of 168 consecutive flexor tendon repairs showed that the MGH technique allowed for early protected active motion, which provided good to excellent functional outcomes with 88 of 103 developing independent finger flexion at an acceptably low complication risk.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)230-236
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Hand Surgery
Volume30
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2005

Keywords

  • Early protected active motion
  • Flexor tendon
  • Hand therapy
  • Independent finger flexion
  • MGH repair
  • Optimizing tendon excursion
  • Zone V flexor repair

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Optimizing independent finger flexion with zone V flexor repairs using the Massachusetts General Hospital flexor tenorrhaphy and early protected active motion'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this