Patient Experience

Patient Experience

St James’s Intrinsic + SAM: Extensor Tendon Zone 3-4

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 attend St James’s Hospital Emergency Department 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 discoloured.

The Splint


Important Information


  • Wear the splint at all times.
  • When having a bath/shower, you should cover your splint to keep it dry
  • Use your uninjured fingers and thumb for light activity only e.g. eating, dressing, texting or turning pages
  • Elevate hand when not using it.
  • Move your shoulder, elbow and wrist regularly to prevent stiffness
  • When your wound is healed your hand therapist will tell you when to commence scar massage.


  • Do not use your injured finger as this can injure the repaired tendon.
  • No driving.
  • No sport.
  • No gym.

Please complete these exercises every 2 hours. Complete these excercises in your splint.

Exercise 1

Step 1 - Open the top strap and hook it to the back of your splint
Step 2 - Use you other hand to hold the middle of your finger and bend the tip. Hold this position for 10 seconds
Step 3 - Then straighten your finger to the splint  Hold for 10 seconds.  Repeat as guided by your therapist


Exercise 2

Step 1 - Place the top strap beside your finger. Your therapist will have drawn a mark on this strap.
Step 2 - Bend the middle joint of your finger to the mark drawn. You will feel a stretch at the back of you finger.  Do not push beyond this. Hold position for 10 seconds.
Step 3 - Then straighten your finger to the splint. Hold for 10 seconds. Repeat as guided by your therapist.