flexor digitorum profundus rupture

The occurrence for hand injuries is usually quite low for athletes, but it still accounts for 9% of all sports related injuries (Peterson, 2006). An acute injury found to happen frequently in contact sports is jersey finger. The medical community calls jersey finger an acute injury known as a flexor digitorum profundus rupture. A flexor digitorum profundus rupture can happen in any of the fingers, but it mainly occurs in the ring finger (Prentice, 2011).

            There will be inflammation and pain, along with the inability of the athlete to bend the tip of the finger. There will be pain and point tenderness on the distal phalanx (Prentice, 2011). The finger may also be numb and depending on the mechanism of injury there could also be a cut at the site of the injury.
            The mechanism of the injury is extension of the finger beyond what it normally should be and therefore the tendon will disconnect from the bone or the tendon may take along with it a little piece of the bone (Geier, 2012). The injury can cause a lot of pain and will render the injured finger to be fixed in extension, because the finger is no longer attached to the distal phalanx.
            Treatment will usually require surgery and will require the surgeon to reattach the tendon to its proper location. After surgery the injured hand will be placed in a splint for protection and to also help the tendon to heal. If surgery is not performed then the patient will still follow the splinting and exercise/physical therapy program warranted for the surgical treatment of a flexor digitorum profundus rupture. The type of injury that warrants nonsurgical treatment are usually partial tears and will be at the discretion of the physician.
            Depending on the severity of the injury the patient may require hand therapy to regain strength and functionality. Some rehabilitation techniques used during physical therapy will include hand strengthening exercises like wrist flexion and extension, finger flexion and extension, and incorporate stretches of the hand.
            After surgery the patient will take about 2 months to heal and then the splint will come off, which will then be followed by a month or more of physical therapy (American, 2011). The athlete may be able to continue with a cardiovascular training program which does not elicit pain or complications to the injured area. Some patients may always have stiffness in the finger or may even a have a build of scar tissue that will require another surgery.
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (January, 2011). Flexor tendon injuries. Retrieved January 5, 2013, from http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=a00015
Cuccurullo S, (2004). Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Board Review. New York: Demos Medical Publishing; 2004. Hand Disorders. Retrieved January 6, 2012, from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK27249/
Geier, D. (2012). Jersey finger sports injuries: Jersey finger injury treatment. Retrieved January 6, 2012, from http://www.drdavidgeier.com/injuries/jersey-finger/
Peterson, J., & Bancroft, L. (2006). Injuries of the Thumbs and Fingers of Athletes. Clinics in Sports Medicine, 25, 527-542. Retrieved January 5, 2011, from http://www.med.nyu.edu/pmr/residency/resources/Clinics%20of%20NA%20finger%20and%20thumb%20injuries.pdf
Prentice, W.E., Bobo, L.S. & Benson, A.A. (2011). Principles of Athletic Training. New York: McGraw Hill

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