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Tendon Transfer Surgery

What is Tendon Transfer Surgery?

Tendon Transfer Surgery is a procedure that is used to repair a partially or completely torn tendon in the forearm, wrist, hand, ankle or foot. The goal of this procedure is to replace the torn tendon with a working tendon using small sutures to create strength and stability in the tendon. Once the sutures are put in place and the tendon heals, the tendon and muscle work properly.

A Tendon Transfer Surgery was historically performed as an open incision procedure but, at OSS Health, modern surgical techniques allow tendon transfer surgeries to be performed more efficiently and with a smaller incision than they have been in the past. This helps patients recover and experience symptom relief quicker.

How is Tendon Transfer Surgery Performed?

In most cases, Tendon Transfer Surgery is performed as an outpatient procedure by the Board Certified Orthopaedic Surgeons at OSS Health.

During a Tendon Transfer Surgery procedure the following steps are performed:

  1. Incision. One or more incisions are made in the skin. 
  2. Tendon harvesting. A healthy tendon is carefully removed from its muscle.
  3. Tendon reattachment. Sutures attach the healthy tendon to the torn one. 

Incisions are carefully closed and covered with dressings and the patient is placed in a comfortable splint. 

Total procedure time is usually 1-2 hours and most patients are able to return home the same day as their procedure. Physical Therapy is an important part of recovery as it helps improve tendon flexibility and strength. 

The Board Certified Orthopaedic Surgeons at OSS Health have performed thousands of Tendon Transfer Surgeries and are experts in this procedure. 

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