0-3 weeks

· You have had a tendon/s repaired in your hand.  The repair is very weak at the moment therefore a splint has been made to protect it and to prevent you from using your hand.

· You must wear the splint ALL THE TIME.

· You will be taught special exercises.  These are to help keep the tendon moving without damaging it, and to help stop it from becoming ‘stuck’ down.
· Keep your hand up as much as possible to help reduce swelling.

Exercises:    Do these every hour

1. With your splint on, gently bend and straighten your fingers over the edge of the splint.  Do not force them.  Do this 10 times.

2. Remove your splint and with your wrist bent backwards slowly bend at your top knuckles keeping you fingers straight.  Repeat 10 times

3. Your therapist will teach you how to gently massage your scar using hand cream (only if your stitches have been removed).  Do this for 5 minutes every hour.


· Do not remove your splint except to do your exercises as shown above, or for careful hand washing
· Do not get your splint wet or place it on anything hot.
· Do not use your hand for anything other than the exercises shown to you.

3 - 5 weeks

Exercises: Do these every hour after having completed your other exercises

1. Using your other hand, push your fingers straight.  Now slowly let go and keep your fingers there.  Count to 5.  Do this 5 times.

2. Make ½ a fist.  Do not make a full fist yet.  Repeat 10 times.



· Remove your splint except to do exercises and careful washing


· Keep exercising your hand every hour
· Continue to wear your splint all the time

5-6 weeks

· Your tendon is getting stronger every week
· It is still important to keep up all your other exercises


1. Bend your wrist backwards (45°), gradually try and make a fist (do not force this).  Repeat 10 times every hour.  Increase this gradually over the next couple of weeks so that you can make a full fist by 6 weeks.

2. Make a fist.  Keeping the ends of your fingers bent, straighten your big knuckles so that you end up in a hook fist.  Repeat 20 times.

3. Move your fingers from a flat fist to a ‘shelf’ position.  Repeat this 10 times.

4. Start some strengthening work at 5 weeks e.g., scrunching up paper
DO ………..  

· Keep massaging your scar every hour

DO NOT…….    

· Do not drive yet

6 – 7 weeks

· Your tendon is getting stronger still
· It is still important to keep up all your other exercises


1. Make a full fist.  Try and get your fingertips into your palm.  You can help by using your other hand if you need to.

2. Continue to increase the strength in your hand


· You can stop wearing your splint now.
· You can do light activities

DO NOT……. 

· Do not play contact sports
· Do not lift anything heavier than a kettle

7 weeks +

8 weeks:   You can consider driving (if you have a good grip) but remember it is your responsibility to safely do so.   
10 weeks:  You can return to heavy work    

12 weeks:  You can return to full contact sport


The Hand to Elbow Clinic
29a James Street West
Bath BA1 2BT

Tel 01225 316895
Fax 01225 484949
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