Leaves falling, and temperature cooling are both sure signs of fall. With fall comes many fun activities, including carving pumpkins! As fun as it is to get creative and carve the faces of monsters, mummies, witches and more into these pumpkins, it is so important to be safe while doing this to avoid cutting yourself and causing a possible tendon laceration.
Flexor and extensor lacerations of the hand result from trauma to the hand, resulting in a complete tear, or cut of a tendon, which is connective tissue that connects muscle to bones. They are ever so common in the field of Occupational Therapy and almost always result in both surgical and Occupational Therapy interventions to regain full functional use of your hand. These injuries may at first, look like a simple injury similar to your everyday cut. However, tendon lacerations are so much more and result in the lack of ability to move your fingers in the direction they are supposed to move. As an Occupational Therapy Assistant, I have treated a number of tendon lacerations that result from a variety of forms of trauma. In many cases, they are a result of rushing through a task that should be completed slowly and carefully or performing a task when distracted. Tendon lacerations are not an easy injury or surgery to recover from, and typically result in immobilizing the hand for a specific amount of time. When ok’d by your doctor, recovery then transitions to slowly starting to move your fingers in safe movements, and eventually (typically a minimum of 12 weeks after surgery), beginning strengthening and re-introducing your typical hobbies, job duties, and other daily activities. This means being unable to use your hand regularly for close to 4 months.
By carving a pumpkin unsafely and causing a tendon laceration, you will certainly miss out on the chance to win the pumpkin carving competition. Instead, a tendon laceration around Halloween time can result in missing out on cooking for the various holidays coming up in the next few months, because of immobilization and being unable to use your hand regularly. So, make sure to remember these very simple, but important safety measures when carving your pumpkins this Halloween!