Tendon repair is surgery to fix damage or a tear in the cord-like bands of fibrous tissue that connect muscles to bones. The shoulder, elbow, knee, and ankle joints are the most commonly affected by tendon injuries. The goal of this procedure is to restore the normal function of joints following an injury.

Understanding the procedure

To repair a torn tendon, incisions (cuts) are made to expose the area for repair. Some tendons can be reattached through one incision, while others require two cuts in order to access the severed point and the remaining tendon. The damaged or torn ends of the tendon are sewn together.

If the tendon has been severely injured, a tendon graft may be required. In this case, a piece of healthy tendon will be taken from another part of the body. This healthy tendon will be used to reconnect the broken tendon. If necessary, tendons are reattached to the surrounding tissue. The surgeon then examines the area to see if there any injuries to nerves and blood vessels.

Usually, tendon repairs are performed on an outpatient basis. When hospitalization is required, the stays are typically no more than a day.

Indications for the procedure

Surgery is usually recommended when the damage or tear is disabling and causing a significant amount of pain.