Avulsion Injuries of the Flexor Digitorum Profundus Tendon

J Am Acad Orthop Surg, Vol 19, No 3, March 2011

David E. Ruchelsman, MD, Dimitrios Christoforou, MD, Bradley Wasserman, MD, Steve K. Lee, MD and Michael E. Rettig, MD Avulsions of the flexor digitorum profundus tendon may involve tendon retraction into the palm and fractures of the distal phalanx. Although various repair techniques have been described, none has emerged as superior to others. Review of the literature does provide evidence-based premises for treatment: multi-strand repairs perform better, gapping may be seen with pullout suture–dorsal button repairs, and failure because of bone pullout remains a concern with suture anchor methods. Clinical prognostic factors include the extent of proximal tendon retraction, chronicity of the avulsion, and the presence and size of associated osseous fragments. Patients must be counseled appropriately regarding anticipated outcomes, the importance of postoperative rehabilitation, and potential complications. Treatment alternatives for the chronic avulsion injury remain patient-specific and include nonsurgical management, distal interphalangeal joint arthrodesis, and staged reconstruction.

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