Nearly all of us have had a finger injury whether it be from sport or performing our daily tasks around the home. A common hand injury we see in the clinic is a mallet finger. This injury is a direct result of when a ball or object strikes the end of the finger causing it to suddenly bend at the end of the finger. This takes the tendon that straightens our finger to its limits and results in the tendon breaking. Sometimes this tendon can break off a little bit of bone whereas other time the tendon alone breaks.
What does this mean?
Due to the tendon being breaking the end of the finger is unable to straighten and is left in a bent position. Unless the finger is splinted correct, this deformity will remain forever. This can also result in early osteoarthritis of the distal interphalangeal joint.
How we treat a mallet finger?
Depending on the nature of the injury (soft tissue versus bony mallet), your physiotherapist will design an extension splint that holds your finger straight. You will be left in the splint for 6-8 weeks and then start a weaning process over 3-4 weeks. You should avoid any activities that require a strong grip or getting the finger wet.
Principal Physiotherapist at Set In Motion Physio