October 25, 2017

Mallet Finger (Baseball Finger)

Hand, Wrist and Elbow | Sports Injury

Mallet finger, also known as baseball finger, occurs when some impacts the tip of a finger or thumb and forces it to bend further than it usually goes. As a result, you are unable to straighten the tip of your finger or thumb because of the injured tendon.

Anatomy
Tendons connect muscles to bones to allow movements. The extensor tendons on the top of the hand straighten the fingers. The flexor tendons on the palm side of the hand bend the fingers. In a mallet finger, the force of the impact tears the extensor tendon.

The injury can rupture the tendon or pull the tendon away from where it attaches to the finger bone. In some cases, a small piece of bone is pulled away with the tendon.

Symptoms

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Drooping finger tip

Physician Examination
To assess your fingertip injury, your physician will ask you for a complete medical history and what happened when you injured your finger, have you describe your symptoms and conduct a physical examination. An X-ray may be necessary to determine the severity of the injury and determine a further course of treatment.

Treatment
In most cases, a mallet finger is treated with splinting. A splint will hold the fingertip straight until heals. Usually the splint must be worn for eight weeks, without removing it even for bathing. After the initial eight weeks, the splint is usually worn for three to four weeks on an occasional basis, perhaps during sleep.

Internal pinning or direct tendon repair can be performed when wearing a splint is not an option. Surgery may also be necessary if there is another injury in addition to the mallet finger or the joint is out of line. Surgery will include inserting pins to hold the pieces of bone together while the finger heals.

Rehabilitation
Sometimes hand therapy is necessary to get the finger moving fully after a severe injury.

Click here to learn more about sport’s injuries or hand injuries.

Schedule an Appointment Call OrthoIndy 317.802.2000
Megan Golden

By Megan Golden

Megan is the current marketing specialist for OrthoIndy. Megan graduated from Ball State University in 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in public relations and advertising and a communications studies minor and has been with OrthoIndy since then.

Related Posts

More from OrthoIndy

Active lifestyle requires ACL surgery

Active lifestyle requires ACL surgery

Caitlin chose knee surgery after she found out she had an ACL and MCL tear. Find out how she made it through ACL surgery recovery and returned to her active lifestyle.

More

Mother-daughter duo undergo ACL surgery

Mother-daughter duo undergo ACL surgery

After experiencing knee pain, patients opt for surgery and ACL surgery recovery to maintain an active lifestyle and get back to doing what they love.

More

Weekend warrior undergoes ACL reconstruction

Weekend warrior undergoes ACL reconstruction

After Nick found out he had an ACL tear and damaged his meniscus he decided ACL reconstruction surgery would be his only option to return to his active life.

More

Get stories and News in your inbox

Subscribe to our weekly articles