Repair of flexor carpi radialis tendon laceration at the wrist in a professional ice hockey player

Clifford T. Hepper, Martin Boyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

The flexor carpi radialis is a wrist flexor and radial deviator with half the relative strength of flexor carpi ulnaris. In the majority of patients, the flexor carpi radialis tendon is expendable and is routinely used for various reconstructive procedures about the hand and wrist. Isolated flexor carpi radialis lacerations at the wrist are rare. Flexor carpi radialis tendon ruptures, which have been reported in association with distal radius fractures, longstanding osteoarthritis, and percutaneous treatment of scaphoid fractures, are usually treated nonoperatively. We report a case of a traumatic laceration of the flexor carpi radialis tendon at the wrist in a professional ice hockey player. Surgical repair and rehabilitation using established principles for intrasynovial flexor tendon repair allowed return to sport at the professional level in 2 months. Tension-free core suture repair was performed with a modified-Kessler, 4-strand repair using a double-stranded 4-0 Supramid suture. A running epitendinous suture was then placed around the circumference of the tendon with 6-0 Prolene. Immobilization of the wrist in 20° of flexion was maintained for 2 weeks. Full active and passive digital motion was allowed immediately postoperatively and continued throughout the rehabilitation. Therapy was initiated at 2 weeks postoperatively with full passive wrist flexion and passive wrist extension to a dorsal block of 20°. At 4 weeks postoperatively, a dorsal splint was fabricated to keep the wrist in neutral. At this time, active extension to a dorsal block of zero and full passive flexion was allowed. Active wrist flexion without resistance was begun at 6 weeks, and full strengthening was allowed at 8 weeks postoperatively. The patient returned to sport at the professional level shortly thereafter. At latest follow-up, the patient has been able to fully participate in professional ice hockey without pain or functional limitation.

Original languageEnglish
JournalOrthopedics
Volume34
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2011

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