Atraumatic Flexor tendon retrieval- a simple method

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Ozturk M. B., Basat S. O., Kayadibi T., Karahangil M., Akan I. M.

Annals of Surgical Innovation and Research, vol.7, no.1, 2013 (Scopus) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 7 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2013
  • Doi Number: 10.1186/1750-1164-7-11
  • Journal Name: Annals of Surgical Innovation and Research
  • Journal Indexes: Scopus
  • Keywords: Atraumatic flexor tendon retrieval, Flexor tendon retrieval, Retracted flexor tendon, Tendon retrieval
  • Istanbul Medipol University Affiliated: Yes


Background: Zone 2 flexor tendon injuries still represent a challenging problem to hand surgeons despite the well developed surgical techniques and suture materials. Meticulous surgical repair with atraumatic handling of the severed tendon stumps and minimal damage to the tendon sheath are particularly important to prevent postoperative adhesions and ruptures in this area.In zone 2 flexor tendon injuries proximal to the vinculas, the cut ends of the flexor tendons retract to the palm with muscle contraction. To retrieve the severed proximal flexor tendon under tendon sheath and pulley system is very difficult without damaging these structures. Many techniques are described in the literature for the delivery of the retracted proximal tendon stump to the repair site.Methods: In this report we would like to present a simple and relatively atraumatic technique that facilitates passing of the retracted flexor tendon through the pulleys in zone 2. We sutured the proximal tendon stump at the distal palmar crease with 3-0 polypropylene suture and used a 14 gauge plastic feeding tube, acting like a conduit for the passage of straightened needle to the finger.Results: We have used this technique 21 times without any complication in our clinic. We have not seen any suture breakage during the passage or needle breakage due to the bending of the needle.Conclusions: We have found this technique is very simple and very effective in retrieving the retracted tendon stump without causing undue damage to the tendon stump or tendon sheath. © 2013 Ozturk et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.