Purpose: Tendon transfer involves moving a healthy tendon from its original attachment to a new location to compensate for the loss or weakness of another tendon. The goal is to restore function and improve muscle strength.
Indications: Tendon transfers are commonly performed when a tendon is completely ruptured or severely damaged, or when a muscle-tendon unit is weak or paralyzed due to nerve injuries, neuromuscular conditions, or congenital abnormalities.
Procedure: The surgeon identifies a suitable donor tendon, usually from nearby muscles, that can be rerouted to perform the function of the damaged or weak tendon. The donor tendon is detached from its original insertion and reattached at the new location using sutures, anchors, or bone tunnels. This allows the transferred tendon to take over the function of the damaged tendon.
Rehabilitation: Following tendon transfer surgery, a structured rehabilitation programme is essential to promote healing, regain strength and function, and optimise outcomes. Physical therapy exercises are prescribed to gradually restore range of motion, muscle strength, and coordination.
Purpose: Tendon repair aims to rejoin or suture torn or ruptured tendons back together, allowing them to heal in their natural position and restore normal function.
Indications: Tendon repair is commonly performed for acute injuries, such as tendon ruptures or lacerations, where the tendon ends can be brought together and sutured. It may also be used for chronic tendon conditions where conservative treatments have failed or when there is significant impairment in function.
Procedure: The surgeon makes an incision over the affected tendon, identifies the torn ends, and sutures them back together using strong sutures. In some cases, additional reinforcement techniques, such as using synthetic materials or grafts, may be employed to enhance the strength and stability of the repair.
Rehabilitation: Postoperative rehabilitation is vital for successful tendon repair. The patient may require immobilisation with a cast, splint, or brace initially to protect the repaired tendon. Physical therapy exercises and gradual mobilisation are introduced as healing progresses, with the aim of restoring range of motion, strength, and function.