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The shoulder
Hand surgery

Can you do this?

Did you know that what is depicted here is an actual medical test? It is and if you cannot do the “OK” sign, you may have injured nerves or tendons in your hand.

While the OK sign is not the only test used for finger or hand injuries, it can be telling. Dr. Justin S. Mitchell, board-certified hand surgeon at The Hand Surgery Center at Ortho El Paso, may ask his patients to make the O.K. sign by touching the tips of the index finger and thumb together. “Integrity of the nerve that allows for flexion of the thumb and the index finger is what is being tested,” he said. “When a nerve injury is present, the patient will be unable to bring together the thumb and the index finger. The patient would be unable to make the O.K. sign.”

Sometimes, this inability to make the OK sign is a result of a deep cut to the flexor muscles. A deep cut will most likely not heal without surgery. Those muscles move the fingers through cord-like extensions called tendons and they connect to the bones of the hand. When the tendons are cut, you cannot bend your finger. Nearby nerves and blood vessels may need to be repaired, as well.

If you suspect you have a flexor tendon injury, call the office of The Hand Surgery Center at Ortho El Paso at 915-249-4000 to consult with Dr. Mitchell, orthopaedic surgeon specializing in hand and elbow injuries. Learn more about our practice at