Mallet Finger Symptoms and Treatments

mallet finger avulsion fracture

Typically an athletic injury, mallet finger happens when the outermost joint of the finger is hurt. Basketball and baseball players regularly experience obstructed fingers, however the injury can happen due to the fact that of a crushing accident on the job or perhaps since of a cut finger while working in the kitchen area.

With mallet finger, the tendon on the back of the finger (not the palm side) is separated from the muscles it links.

mallet finger arthritis

3 kinds of injuries typically occur:

  • The tendon is damaged, but no fractures (bone cracks or breaks) are present.
  • The tendon ruptures with a little fracture triggered by the force of the injury.
  • The tendon ruptures with a huge fracture.

Mallet Finger Symptoms

mallet finger bracePeople with mallet finger may postpone looking for medical interest– even though they may be in a large amount of pain– simply due to the fact that they can still use their hand.

Symptoms may consist of the following:

  • Pain, tenderness, and swelling at the outermost joint right away after the injury
  • Swelling and redness not long after the injury
  • Failure to completely extend the finger while still having the ability to move it with assistance

When to Seek Medical Care

Call a doctor instantly to examine the injury to figure out the requirement for X-rays and to fix any deep cuts. The doctor may suggest a consultation with a hand surgeon for additional evaluation.

Your doctor may also inform you to go to a medical facility’s emergency situation department for evaluation.

Exams and Tests

X-rays assist the doctor understand if the bone or break. Imaging studies might also assist the doctor see any foreign particles in the cut.

Mallet Finger Self-Care at Home

  • If the finger is cut, clean the cut under running water for a few minutes. Then wrap the finger with clean gauze or a clean fabric. Use a moderate quantity of pressure to assist stop any bleeding.
  • Apply ice to the hurt finger joint to minimize swelling and tenderness. Wrap ice in a towel. Do not use ice directly to your skin. A bag of frozen vegetables covered in a towel adapts nicely to the hand.
  • Make sure not to hurt the finger even more.

Medical Treatment

If your finger is not broken or cut, or if only a little fracture is present, the doctor will apply a splint to the end of the finger so it stays extended. With a splint, the outermost joint on the injured finger is not bendable, however the rest of your finger is. This splint has to be worn for a minimum of 6 weeks, possibly longer, to ensure that the tendon is given the best chance of recovery.

The doctor will also fix any cuts or damage to the skin. And, if needed, the tendon might be sewn to repair it.

For pain relief, use ice to the joint.


A variety of over-the-counter and prescription pain relievers may be recommended depending on other health conditions.

Mallet finger surgery

Mallet finger surgery


You might have to have surgery if the injury involves a huge fracture that is causing tendon damage. A hand expert or specialist will perform this surgery.

  • Mallet Finger Recovery Time after Surgery

These require full time splinting for 6-8 weeks and then part time splinting for an additional month.

Next Steps

A hand specialist may keep track of the development of the injury, specifically if there is a probability of the finger being warped. If a cut has been repaired, you might have to return to the doctor in 10 days to have the stitches eliminated.

Mallet Finger Prevention

To prevent such injuries, take care when taking part in activities, consisting of athletic occasions. To avoid injuries from happening again to the very same finger, leave the splint on for the whole time the doctor has actually advised.


The outcomes of dealing with mallet finger injuries can vary. Many people restore full function of the finger without any long-lasting impacts. Other individuals establish a long-lasting defect known as a swan neck, which includes the finger joints.

For small mallet finger injuries, research studies have shown that splinting and surgery have the exact same outcomes.


Updated: August 16, 2016 — 3:11 am

The Author

Reyus Mammadli

Healthy lifestyle advisor. Bachelor Degree of Medical Equipment and Electronics.
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