Extensor Tendon Injuries in Athletes

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Extensor tendon injuries of the hand and wrist in high-level athletes can cause a delay in return to play and permanently affect their performance. Given the inherent demand for a speedy and complete recovery, orthopedic surgeons must have an understanding of how to best direct an athlete’s treatment for these injuries. The extensor anatomy is very intricate and a thorough understanding of the anatomy can help with both diagnosis and treatment. However, untreated or poorly managed injuries are at risk of leading to chronic deformities. We will discuss the diagnosis and management of the most common extensor tendon injuries and tendinopathies of the hand found in athletes: mallet fingers, swan-neck deformities, boutonniere deformities, central slip ruptures, sagittal band ruptures, intersection syndrome, extensor carpi ulnaris tendinitis, and extensor carpi ulnaris subluxation.

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