Mallet finger is an injury to the tendon that keeps the finger's end joint straight. Injury of this tendon results in a drooping fingertip. It can occur to any finger, including the thumb. This injury is also known as "baseball finger."
What You Need to Know About Mallet Finger
What is a Mallet Finger?
There are tiny tendons that keep your fingers and thumbs straight. Sometimes when these tendons are injured, they are no longer able to control the digit. This type of injury can happen when the digit experiences direct shock or is bent beyond its limits. People who participate in sports or engage in repetitive activities are more likely to develop a mallet finger.
Mallet finger is a serious injury that can cause lasting pain and deformity. Sometimes, when a tendon breaks, it can tear a portion of bone off with it. This type of mallet finger injury is known as a bony mallet finger.
Finding the best mallet finger treatment starts by visiting one of Resurgens Atlanta-area locations. Schedule an appointment with our mallet finger specialists now!
What Causes Mallet Finger?
Mallet finger this occurs when an object strikes the tip of a finger, forcing it to bend in a downward position. The tendon then becomes unattached from the bone, and the finger can no longer straighten at the tip of the finger. otherwise known as the distal phalanx.
Many sports-related injuries can cause mallet finger, which is why it is sometimes known as "baseball finger". Direct force from injuries like slamming your finger in a door can also cause mallet finger.
Mallet Finger Symptoms
The main symptom of mallet finger is having a digit that is perpetually bent downwards. The affected person is not able to straighten their finger from its drooping position.
Other mallet finger symptoms include:
Swelling at the distal interphalangeal joint (last joint of the finger).
Inability to straighten the finger at the distal interphalangeal joint.
The finger is held in a bent position.
How is a Mallet Finger Diagnosed?Only a physician can properly identify a mallet finger deformity. During your visit to Resurgens Orthopaedics, a physician will examine the source of your pain and rule out any other related causes. Your physician may ask you to do activities that cause you pain. Don't worry, as this is a routine part of the exam.
Next, your physician may also request diagnostic imaging of your digit. MRI or x-ray technology will be used to assess the extent of your trauma. These diagnostic scans help your physician plan the next steps for your treatment.
Mallet Finger TreatmentThere are many types of mallet finger injuries, and not all people experience the same pain level. Your Resurgens Orthopaedics physician will determine the best treatment for your condition and lifestyle goals.
There are many effective non-surgical options for mallet finger. In some cases, traditional RICE therapy combined with bracing may be effective.
A stack splint or
alumafoam splint can be used to position the finger in the ideal post for
healing. Expect some slight lifestyle changes while you heal.
Additionally, anti-inflammatory medications like acetaminophen or ibuprofen may help alleviate any discomfort. Be careful because even mild over-the-counter medications can become habit-forming.
Surgical TreatmentMallet finger surgery may be an option for severe injuries. During this procedure, a surgeon places a small pin into the tip of the finger to cross the joint and hold it in extension.
In cases where the mallet finger is an old injury, it is also possible for the tendon to be reconstructed. Your physician may perform what is known as an "arthrodesis" to join the last bone and the middle bone together. This way the affected joint does not move.
Mallet finger is a serious condition that requires expert treatment. Schedule a mallet finger consultation with the experts at Resurgens Hand & Wrist Center now.