Patient Experience

Patient Experience

Relative Motion Extension Zone 5-7 Exercises

Patient Information Sheet

The injury that you have sustained damaged the tendon(s) that straighten your finger(s). These tendon(s) were repaired during your surgery. You will have been sent home in a cast to allow you to rest for the first few days following your surgery.

At your first hand therapy appointment you will be provided with a splint by the hand therapist to protect your tendon(s) whilst they heal. The rehabilitation programme is designed to protect your repaired tendon(s) but allow your hand to move as much as possible to prevent stiffness and scarring. It is very important that you only do the exercises described and follow all instructions carefully.

Your therapist will guide you through this process.

You should contact St James’s Hospital at 01 4162305 and ask for Hand Therapy if:

  • You are suddenly unable to straighten your finger(s). 
  • You are concerned that you may have an infection. Some signs of infection are: increased redness around the wound, throbbing, increased swelling, a fever, and discharge from the wound that is foul smelling or coloured.

The Splints
You will have two splints to wear.  One for your fingers and one for your wrist.
The splints protect your repaired tendons to allow them to heal.
Do not remove your splints.

Week 0-4
At your initial session your hand therapist will make your splints and explain the rehabilitation process to you.
Important Information


  • Wear both splints at all times.
  • When having a bath/shower, you should cover your splint to keep it dry.
  • Use your hand for light activity only eg. eating, dressing, texting or turning pages, you must be wearing both splints
  • Elevate hand when not using it.
  • Scar massage: When your hand therapist tells you its safe to do so, massage your scar firmly for 3-5 minutes with cream, 3 times/day.  This stops the tendon getting stuck in scar tissue.


  • Do not lift heavier than a bag of sugar or 1/2 pint glass with your affected hand.
  • No driving.
  • No sport.
  • No gym.

The Exercises

Complete the following exercises   5 times, every 2 hours
Start and finish each of the following exercises with your finger straight

Exercises 1: ‘Hook’

Curl the tips of the fingers down into a hook position, and then straighten fingers fully.

Exercise 2. ‘Table top’

Start with fingers straight and bend forward at the knuckle, then straighten fingers fully

Exercises 3. ‘Fist’

Curl fingers into a fist as far as they will go in the splint, then straighten fingers fully.