Extensor Tenolysis


  • The extensor tendons are stuck down and do not glide.


  • Adhesions have formed between the tendon and underlying bone or metalware. This usually occurs after trauma.


  • There is a lack of active extension, i.e. – patient’s arm muscle power
  • The fingers can usually be passively extended, lifted by other hand or by therapist.
  • X-rays should confirm that underlying fractures have healed, and presence of metalware.


  • Hand therapy will usually make gains up to three months post initial injury/surgery.
  • If no further progress is being made, surgery is recommended.
  • Surgery – GA – Day Surgery
    • Removal of contributing metalware.
    • Division of adhesions by surgical dissection.

Potential Complications

  • Infection, haematoma, neurovascular injury
  • Inability to remove all metalware
  • Further stiffening and adhesions

Post Op Care

  • Light Dressings
  • Early hand therapy to push active and passive range of motion, for up to three months.
University Of Auckland Auckland Born Joint Surgery Fracs NZOA  University Of Auckland Auckland Born Joint Surgery Fracs