Orthopedic Treatment For Mallet Finger

by Administrator 22. September 2014 09:18

Mallet Finger which is also known as Baseball Finger or Dropped Finger is a disfigurement of the finger and is frequently suffered by athletes. This deformity of the finger is caused by hyperflexion, bending of limbs or joints beyond their normal limit, of the Extensor Digitorum Tendons that are present in fingers.

Causes:  Some of the most common causes of a Mallet Finger are:

  • A ball or any other object bangs the tip of the finger and ceases it to straighten completely
  • A result of cuts while working in the kitchen and it commonly occurs to the index or middle fingers.
  • Rapid motion that jams the tip of the finger against an object

Symptoms: Some of the symptoms of Mallet Finger are:

  • Painful, red and swollen finger soon after the injury
  • Blood may get clotted beneath the nail
  • Inability to straighten the injured finger


The hand surgeon performs normal physical examination to diagnose Mallet Finger. However X-rays serve as a technique for precise detection which is required to see if there is a related fracture which will change the course of treatment to be provided.

Treatments for mallet finger: There are basically two types of treatments for mallet finger:

  • Non-Surgical Treatment
  • Surgical Treatment

Non- Surgical treatment

Ice can be applied to reduce swelling along with keeping the hand above heart level immediately after the injury. One should seek immediate medical help and if there is no large fracture, Mallet Finger injury does not require any surgery. Orthopedic doctor may recommendeasily applying a splint for about 6-8 weeks. A splint allows the ends of the ripped tendon to stay together and heal. One should be very cautious during this process and the splint should not be removed in any case, as if the process is disrupted it must start all over again. 

Surgical Treatment

The surgical treatment is reserved for some distinctive cases where the injury show signs of large fracture or joint misalignment or if the non-surgical treatment fails to repair the torn tendon. It is also done in cases where the patient has to continue using his hand. The surgery involves the orthopedic surgeon inserting a metal pin inside the bone to act as an internal splint. Surgical treatments may also include tightening the stretched tendon tissue, using tendon grafts or even fusing the joint straight. Although surgery is kept as the last resort it is advised only for severe cases.

For complete diagnosis and treatment of Mallet finger, you can visit Dr. Neagle in Carrollton, TX. To schedule an appointment with the hand and wrist specialist, call at (972) 492 – 1334.

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