Mallet Finger 


The term mallet finger has long been accustomed describe the deformity made by disruption of the terminal extensor muscle mechanism at the distal interphalangeal (DIP) joint it’s the foremost common closed connective tissue injury seen in athletes, though it’s additionally common in nonathletes once “innocent” trauma. Mallet finger, seen within the pictures below, has additionally been remarked as drop, hammer, or baseball finger (although baseball accounts for under a small share of such injuries).

Despite active extension effort, the distal ginglymus of the index finger rests in flexion, characteristic of a mallet finger. Typical mallet finger deformity.

The terminal portion of the striated muscle mechanism that crosses the DIP joint within the sheet dorsally is accountable for active extension of the distal joint. A flexion force on the tip of the extended finger jolts the DIP joint into flexion. this could lead to a stretching or tearing of the connective tissue substance or an avulsion of the tendon’s insertion on the dorsal lip of the distal phalanx base. In either instance, active extension power of the DIP joint is lost, and also the joint rests in an abnormally flexed position.


mallet finger1

Although athletes and coaches usually believe mallet injuries to be minor, with several cases going untreated, all people with finger injuries, together with suspected mallet finger, ought to have a systematic analysis performed. good results will typically be obtained with early treatment of such injuries, whereas a delay in or lack of treatment could produce permanent incapacity

Controversy exists on whether or not the management of bony mallet injuries ought to be closed or open, particularly once the dorsal avulsion fragment is massive and also the substance of the distal phalanx is subluxed anteriorly. The literature, however, supports the idea of nonoperative treatment even in these cases.

A mallet finger could be a deformity of a finger caused once a precise connective tissue (the extensor muscle tendon) is broken. once a ball or alternative object strikes the tip of the finger or thumb, the force damages the skinny connective tissue that straightens the finger. The force of the blow might even regress a bit of bone at the side of the connective tissue. The finger or thumb isn’t ready to be straightened. This condition is additionally called baseball finger.


The finger is typically painful, swollen, and contusioned. The tip might droop perceptibly. sometimes, blood collects below the nail. The nail will even become detached from below the skin fold at the bottom of the nail.


In most cases, the doctor can order X-rays so as to seem for a significant fracture or malalignment of the joint.

Nonsurgical Treatment

The majority of mallet finger injuries may be treated while not surgery. Ice ought to be applied in real time and therefore the hand ought to be elevated on top of the amount of the center. Medical attention ought to be sought-after among per week when injury. it’s important to hunt immediate attention if there’s blood below the nail or if the nail is detached. this might be an indication of nail bed laceration or open (compound) fracture.

Types of splints wont to treat mallet finger. 

A, Dorsal aluminum splint. B, industrial splint.

Reproduced with permission from Culver JE Jr: workplace management of athletic injuries of the hand and radiocarpal joint. 

The doctor might apply a splint to carry the tip straight (in extension) till it heals. Most of the time, a splint are going to be worn full time for eight weeks. Over subsequent 3 to four weeks, most patients bit by bit begin to wear the splint less often. though the finger sometimes regains a suitable perform and look with this treatment set up, several patients might not regain full tip extension.

In kids, mallet finger injuries might involve the cartilage that controls bone growth. The doctor should rigorously valuate and treat this injury in kids, in order that the finger doesn’t become scrawny or distorted.

Surgical Treatment

Surgical repair could also be thought of when mallet finger injuries also show signs of huge fracture fragments or joint malalignment. In these cases, surgery is completed to repair the fracture mistreatment pins, pins and wire, or maybe tiny screws. Surgery can also be thought of if medical procedure treatment fails.

It is not common to treat a mallet finger surgically if bone fragments or fractures don’t seem to be present. this can be sometimes reserved for patients who have a really severe deformity or who cannot use their finger properly. surgical operation of the broken connective tissue will embody modification the stretched connective tissue tissue, mistreatment sinew grafts, or maybe fusing the joint straight.

An orthopaedic doctor ought to be consulted in making the choice to treat this condition surgically.