EPL EPB Repair Recovery at Lister’s Tubercle

Extensor tendon injuries of the thumb are different from other extensor tendon injuries in that the extensor pollicis longus tendon behaves like a flexor tendon and retracts back to the wrist and can generally be recovered at Lister’s tubercle. After repair I will frequently utilize a dynamic extension splinting protocol for rehabilitation.


Laceration over the dorsal aspect of the metacarpophalangeal joint of the thumb involving the extensor pollicis longus and extensor pollicis brevis tendons results in the inability to extend the thumb at either joint and an extension lag as evident in this photograph.





This demonstrates how the extensor pollicis longus tendon retracts back to the level of the wrist at Lister”s tubercle and is re-advanced back to the zone of injury with a tendon retrieving¬†forceps.






Following repair extension of both the metacarpophalangeal and interphalangeal joints is evident.