Houston, Texas Guide to Extensor Tendonitis

 Jammed Finger or Extensor Tendonitis; When to Seek Treatment

Extensor tendons are the tendons that allow you to straighten all of your fingers, including your thumbs. An injury to one of these thin tendons, or often known as a jammed finger, can be quite debilitating. When you injure one of these tendons, referred to as extensor tendonitis, you could lose the ability to extend your fingers or wrist if you don’t seek treatment. 

Jammed FingerYou may be wondering or think you are experiencing extensor tendonitis. My Houston, Texas practice wants to arm you with all the information you need about extensor tendonitis, so check out my guide on jammed fingers and extensor tendonitis.

Why could I be experiencing extensor tendonitis?

There are a number of things that could cause a thin extensor tendon to rip from the bone to which it is attached. When you visit my practice, we will discuss your medical history, daily work habits and hobbies to see if we can determine a cause. Some common causes include, but are not limited to:

  • Playing sports
  • Experiencing a minor cut
  • Dislocating a finger
  • Jamming a finger
  • Experiencing a fracture.

What are some common extensor tendon injuries?

An extensor tendon injury is not just one condition. Extensor tendon injuries can appear in a variety of forms.

  • Cuts on the back of the hand can injure the extensor tendons. These can make it difficult to straighten your fingers and can affect your range of motion.
  • We call a cut or tear to the extensor tendon itself Boutonnière Deformity. If you have Boutonnière Deformity the middle joint of your finger will appear bent. 
  • If you have cut or torn your extensor tendon from the bone, we refer to this as mallet finger. Commonly, patients suffer from Mallet Finger when something hits the tip of their finger and causes it to bend.

How do I know when to seek treatment and how will you treat extensor tendonitis?

If you are just suffering from minor pain and injuries to your extensor tendon, you can treat these at home by stabilizing the injured finger. This can be done simply by taping it to an adjacent finger. You can also treat the pain with a combination of heat and ice.

Splints are another treatment option we may explore. The splint will hold the tendon in-place to allow it time to heal. I typically suggest you wear a splint on your jammed finger for about eight to 12 weeks, but as with any injury, treatment varies by patient and severity.

Depending on the extent of your injury, there are a few other treatment options for extensor tendonitis:

  • Placing a pin through the bone to act as an internal splint
  • Surgery that frees scar tissue
  • Stitches (if you cut the tendon)

After treatment, therapy may be necessary to fully improve motion in your finger or wrist. Consult with me at Houston and Conroe, Texas locations for the best form extensor tendonitis treatment for you.