Mallet Finger Overview

Mallet Finger Overview

Mallet finger is a condition when the tendon that straightens your finger gets damaged and leads to the finger becoming deformed. If you suffer from a mallet finger, there is a lot of pain, but some people experience no discomfort. Treatments for mallet fingers may be as easy as using a splint or as extensive as surgery. This injury guide will discover how to recognize mallet fingers and various treatment options.

What is Mallet Finger?

Also referred to as "baseball finger," the condition is described as a deformity within the finger that stops you from straightening the tip of your finger (known in the DIP joint, also known as the distal joint, or DIP joint). As a result, the tendon responsible for straightening the tip of the finger gets damaged, which causes the finger's tip joint to lie in an unbending position (flexion).

The extensor tendons are in charge of straightening fingers as well as thumbs. When a mallet injures a finger, the force of the blow to the point of the finger can cause the tendons to break. The tendon can tear or pull, causing lots of pain.

The dominant hand's middle three fingers are most susceptible to injuries to the mallet, typically caused by sports or other physical actions.

    Mallet Finger vs. Trigger Finger

      They are frequently confused because they both require having trouble straightening fingers. Let's take a look at the differences between them:

        Trigger Finger

        The cause is inflammation of the sheaths of the flexors' tendons that bend fingers, which can cause entrapment or catching sensation. The entire finger could become "stuck" in the bent position. Instead, it is often forced into a wide opening with a click.

        Mallet Finger

        The finger is struck by an object, which causes injury to the tendon that extends the fingers. The finger's tip is still flexible but cannot develop fully at the point (known as the distal phalanx).

        You might also wonder what the difference is between the swan neck deformity. The finger affected is damaged connective tissue on the proximal interphalangeal joints (PIP), also known as the middle joint. It results in an extension that rests the joint.

        Mallet Finger Causes

        Mallet fingers can be caused by injuries to the tendon of the extensor, which is usually the result of severe impact. The most frequent mallet finger causes are:

          Athletic Injury

            Most likely, the most prevalent cause of a mallet fingers deformity is that any sport involving the ball can put the player at risk of injury. Football, basketball, and volleyball players are often afflicted with mallet fingers.

              Work Injury

                Physical labor, usually as a result of construction work or warehouse work, could result in a mallet-finger injury. In addition, a crushing injury sustained during work can seriously damage the finger, making recovering a problematic task.

                  Mallet Finger Classification

                  • Four types of injuries could be experienced.
                    • It is a damaged tendon, but with no bone injury and no open wound.
                    • The fracture is small (known as an Avulsion fracture) and ruptured tendon that is caused by the injury, which is caused by an open wound
                    • Deep wound that is characterized by significant tendon damage or bones fragments (piece made of bone)
                    • The fracture is a large and ruptured tendon, also known as bony mallet fingers or mallet fracture. It results in a deformity of the finger.

                  Mallet Finger Symptoms

                  The most common symptoms associated with mallet finger include :

                  • Redness
                  • Swelling
                  • Tenderness
                  • Bruising
                  • Pain
                  • The inability to straighten the tip of the fingers (finger slide) in the absence of assistance from the other hand

                  .While the condition is typically easy to treat, there are a few troubling signs to watch out for. They are:

                  • The nail is removed from the nail bed
                  • Blood under the nail
                  • Swollen or painful, it can be severe.
                  • The suspicion of a bone fracture of the finger

                  When to See a Doctor

                  Don't delay your appointment with your doctor because the symptoms appear slight. If you can begin to notice any signs of illness, you should visit your physician. They'll decide whether you require X-rays and whether or not they will refer the patient to an orthopedic surgeon or hand surgeon in sports medicine. Mallet finger that is chronic and remains untreated with the aid of a splint for four to six weeks is likely to need surgery.   

                  Mallet Finger Recovery

                  The average non-surgical Mallet finger healing time is between 4 and six weeks if you wear your splint all the time. If you do not wear it as recommended or are delayed in seeking treatment, the tendon injury recovery time could be delayed.

                  The mallet finger's healing rate, it's high. Most patients recover by splinting by themselves; however, those who don't find treatment through surgery.

                  • How to Know When Mallet Finger Is Healed?
                  • The injured finger will likely heal after four weeks in the case of an insignificant injury and six weeks in the case of a tiny fracture. However, if you notice swelling after removing the splint, or if the finger is in a deformity, it's injured and may need another imaging.
                  • After the pain is gone and your finger is back to its normal resting place (not bent), it's now fully healed and ready to go.

                  Healing Your Mallet Finger is Effortless

                  The correct repair for a mallet's finger does not have to be complicated. If you seek help from the doctor as soon as possible, the injury will heal quickly without any issues.

                  Rest it at home with Cold therapy pack when an injury occurs until you can get to a doctor. They'll typically prescribe you painkillers and provide you with a splint. Splinting is the only thing you require to treat most mallet finger cases. When your finger heals, it could be a little more fragile than before and need a quick session of exercises supervised by a physical therapist. Be careful when you play sports or engage in other activities that may cause another injury.

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