Patient Stories

Kevin C. Lutta, MD

Enjoying a glass of iced tea in his kitchen, Kevin misjudged the counter height and broke the glass, sending a razor-sharp shard into his left foot. The jagged glass lacerated a tendon, covering the floor of his Alexandria home with blood. When emergency room doctors discovered Kevin couldn’t move one of his toes, the diagnosis was clear: he had severed his extensor tendon and would need surgery to repair it immediately.

Kevin, 51, consulted OrthoVirginia surgeon Kevin Lutta, MD, who specializes in foot and ankle procedures. “I was apprehensive because I had done enough research to know that tendon reattachment is tricky and I wanted an experienced surgeon to perform the operation,” Kevin recalls. “Dr. Lutta put me at ease right away. He had a great disposition and reassured me that he had done this type of surgery many times before.”

Treatment of extensor tendon injuries varies depending on whether the injury is a laceration, like Kevin’s, or a rupture. The first step is a careful physical examination to evaluate the specific extensor tendon involved, especially in lacerations where multiple tendons and other structures such as nerves and blood vessels may be damaged as well. These, too, may need to be repaired. Left untreated, a claw toe deformity can develop making it difficult to control the toes when putting on socks or shoes.

Dr. Lutta performed Kevin’s tendon repair four days after the initial injury. Despite the large open wound, the surgery was a success. Kevin spent a week on crutches and then had a walking boot put on so he could return to work and basic activities. After a month, he came back to OrthoVirginia for physical therapy, which he continued on his own at home. His pain was minimal, his recovery rapid, and he has since returned to all the things he loves – golfing, biking, and working out in the gym.

“I feel great and I’m very pleased with the care I received at OrthoVirginia,” he says. “I wholeheartedly recommend the entire team, especially Dr. Lutta. He’s a pro who does a tremendous job and I’m a living, breathing – and walking – example of that.”