Tendon Repair

Torn tendons can seriously limit your movement. Tendon repair can help. Surgeons at MaineHealth are dedicated to providing patients who need tendon repair with the highest standard of care.

What is tendon repair?

Tendon repair is a type of surgery to fix damaged or torn tendons. Movement can be extremely limited when tendons are torn or damaged. The affected area may feel weak and cause constant pain.

Tendon repair surgery may be helpful for people who have tendon injuries that are making it difficult for them to move a joint or are very painful.

Tendon repair surgery

Anesthesia (pain medication) is used during tendon repair to prevent the patient from feeling pain during the surgery. The types of anesthesia are:

  • Local anesthesia: affects a restricted part of the body
  • Regional anesthesia: blocks pain sensations in a large area of the body
  • General anesthesia: affects the whole body and induces loss of consciousness (patient is asleep)

During tendon repair surgery, the surgeon makes one or more small incisions over the injured tendon. The damaged or torn ends of the tendon are sewn together. The surrounding tissue is checked for blood vessel or nerve damage. The joint also may need to be immobilized by a cast or splint to allow the tendon to heal.

Risks of tendon repair

Like most surgeries, there are risks associated with tendon repair. Some of the risks include:

  • Reactions to medications
  • Problems breathing
  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Scar tissue formation
  • Pain
  • Partial loss of function in the involved joint
  • Joint stiffness
  • Possibility of re-tear

Tendon repair recovery

Healing may take up to 12 weeks. Sometimes the affected body part may need immobilization by a cast or splint. Rehabilitation and physical therapy will help movement return gradually to protect the tendon during the healing process.