What is Mallet Finger?
It is a deformity of the finger that occurs when the tendon that straightens your finger (extensor tendon) is damaged and torn. When a force forcibly bends your finger or thumb, the force may tear the extensor tendon or may even pull away a piece of bone along with the tendon. Thus, the finger cannot be straightened.
It is evident by the appearance of the finger. The finger cannot straightened on its own power. It may also be painful, swollen and bruised especially if there is an associated fracture. X-rays are often ordered to see if you have pulled off a piece of bone and to make sure the joint is aligned.
Majority of Mallet Finger cases do not require surgery. Ice should be applied immediately and the hand should be elevated. However, if there is blood present under the nail or if the nail is detached, medical attention should be sought. This may be a sign of nail bed laceration or an open fracture.
There are many different types of splints/casts for mallet fingers. The fingertip should be kept straight until the damaged tendon is healed. In children, mallet finger injuries may involve the cartilage that controls bone growth. Special attention has to be given by the doctor so that the finger does not become stunted or deformed.
This information provided is meant purely for educational purposes and may not be used as a substitute for medical diagnosis or treatment. You should seek the advice of your doctor or qualified healthcare provider before starting any treatment or if you have any questions related to your health, physical fitness or medical conditions.
Hand & Reconstructive Microsurgery Center