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Finger tendon rupturesThe most common rupture in football players is the flexor tendon of the 4th finger, which characteristically is torn when the player's finger is caught in an opponent's jersey.
In someone who requires fine use of their hands, (such as a musician or surgeon), a ruptured flexor tendon should be repaired. However, in day-to-day activities, it is quite possible to live with a partially functioning tendon.
Football players who rupture the 4th flexor tendon face a difficult decision regarding surgical repair of the tendon. This gives the best functional result, but the recovery period is usually 10-14 weeks. If the player elects not to have surgery, he can often return to play the following week but will usually have a permanent loss of flexibility of the digit. For players who have outside pursuits that involve use of the hands (such as playing a musical instrument), it is important to get a good functional result. Late tendon repairs can be attempted but are not always 100% successful.
Matthew Lloyd of Essendon is an AFL player who sustained this injury in 2002. He chose to have the tendon repaired to assist with long-term function of the hand.