by Cynthia M. Johnson, MA
Tenolysis is surgery to remove adhesions from a tendon. Adhesions happens when scar tissue forms and binds tendons to tissue. It is most common on the hands and wrists.
Reasons for Procedure
This is done on people who have had an injury or surgery that affected the tendon. It is done when other methods have not helped.
Problems are rare, but all procedures have some risk. The doctor will go over some problems that could happen, such as:
Things that may raise the risk of problems are:
What to Expect
Prior to Procedure
The surgical team may meet with you to talk about:
The doctor may give:
Description of the Procedure
An incision will be made. The tissue will be cut to release the tendon. The incision will be closed with stitches.
How Long Will It Take?
How long it takes depends on which tendon is affected and to what extent.
Will It Hurt?
Pain and swelling are common in the first 1 to 2 weeks. Medicine and home care can help.
Average Hospital Stay
You may be able to go home in 1 to 2 days. If you have problems, you may need to stay longer.
At the Hospital
After the procedure, the staff may:
During your stay, staff will take steps to lower your chance of infection, such as:
You can also lower your chance of infection by:
It will take a few weeks for the incision to heal. Physical activity will need to be limited during recovery. You will need to ask for help with daily activities and delay your return to work.
Call Your Doctor
Call your doctor if you are not getting better or you have:
If you think you have an emergency, call for medical help right away.
American Society for Surgery of the Hand
Ortho Info—American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
The Canadian Orthopaedic Association
Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation
Giugale JM, Fowler JR. Trigger Finger: Adult and Pediatric Treatment Strategies. Orthop Clin North Am. 2015 Oct;46(4):561-569.
Trigger finger (stenosing tenosynovitis) in adults. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dyname.... Updated July 26, 2019. Accessed July 17, 2020.
Last reviewed March 2020 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Warren A. Bodine, DO, CAQSM
Last Updated: 3/31/2021
EBSCO Information Services is fully accredited by URAC. URAC is an independent, nonprofit health care accrediting organization dedicated to promoting health care quality through accreditation, certification and commendation.
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
To send comments or feedback to our Editorial Team regarding the content please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our Health Library Support team will respond to your email request within 2 business days.