PURPOSE To compare early passive mobilization (EPM) with controlled active motion (CAM) after flexor tendon surgery in zones 1 and 2. METHODS We performed a retrospective analysis of collected data of all patients receiving primary flexor tendon repair in zones 1 and 2 from 2006 to 2011, during which time 228 patients were treated, and 191 patients with 231 injured digits were eligible for study. Exclusion criteria were replantation, finger revascularization, age younger than 16 years, rehabilitation by means other than EPM or CAM, and missing information regarding postoperative rehabilitation. This left 132 patients with 159 injured fingers for analysis. The primary endpoint was the comparison of total active motion (TAM) values 4 and 12 weeks after surgery between the EPM and the CAM protocols. The analysis of TAM measurements under the rehabilitation protocols was conducted using t-tests and further linear modeling. We defined rupture rate and the assessment of adhesion/infection as secondary endpoints. RESULTS There was a statistically significant difference between the TAM values of the EPM and the CAM protocols 4 weeks after surgery. At 12 weeks, however, there was no significant difference between the 2 protocols. Older age and injuries with finger fractures were associated with lower TAM values. Rupture rates were 5% (CAM) and 7% (EPM), which were not statistically different. CONCLUSIONS This study showed a favorable effect of CAM protocol on TAM 4 weeks after surgery. The percent rupture rate was slightly lower in the patients with CAM than in the patients with EPM regime. Further studies are required to confirm our results and to investigate whether faster recovery of TAM is associated with shorter time out of work. TYPE OF STUDY/LEVEL OF EVIDENCE Therapeutic III.