Mallet Finger Treatment Guide

Mallet Finger Treatment Guide

Mallet finger refers to the tendon which allows you to straighten your fingers. It's also known as the baseball finger. It is an injury that is common when you catch an object when the ball hits the tips of the fingers. The ball's impact on the finger causes injury to the tendon of the extensor, causing a mallet finger. Treatment for injuries to the mallet finger is a mixture of medical and home treatment. Continue reading to learn about the steps to take for immediate treatment for recovery, treatment options, and post-recovery protocol.

Immediate Care

Following your injury, you'll be in pain, and your injured finger will begin to droop. An avulsion fracture is known if a chunk of bone splits off when the tendon tangles. The first sign that a fractured finger has injured you to the tendon is that it is bleeding under your nail bed. You should stop what you're doing and go to the doctor. In the event of a delay, treatment may result in swan neck deformity. That is a finger deformity in which the joint get's bent incorrectly. While you are waiting to see the doctor, you may be able to initiate these procedures:

Cold Therapy

Mallet fingers can be painful and cause swelling, both of which a cold pack may aid. Put the cold therapy pack on your finger for 20 minutes after you have injured your finger. The cold can reduce swelling in the soft tissues and help alleviate discomfort. However, the pressure generated by the cold packs could cause pain, so put a towel between the cold pack and the tip of your finger. Be careful not to sleep when you have a cold pack in place because the cold pack could cause severe skin injuries.

Elevate Your Hand

The next step following your injury is to raise your hand. It is important to keep the injured hand above the heart's level. This will allow fluid to come back into your hand and reduce swelling. When you're lying down, place your hands on a towel that has been rolled or pillow to raise it. The amount of elevation you place on your hand doesn't have to be dramatic; it should be just enough to reduce swelling.

Over-the-Counter Anti-Inflammatories

Drugs available over the counter, such as ibuprofen or naproxen, are renowned for having anti-inflammatory effects. These medications can help lessen swelling and pain after the injury. They are generally considered safe; however, the only side effect you must be conscious of is bleeding. If your finger is injured and bleeding, avoid these medicines and speak to your doctor or pharmacist to determine the most suitable alternative.

Recovery Options

Once the initial injury phase is over, and a doctor has evaluated the injury, it's time to begin your rehabilitation. Here's what you should expect from the recovery of your mallet finger.


The most commonly used nonsurgical treatment for the finger is a splint. Splinting the finger keeps the fingers straight while the extensor tendons injury heals. Most people must continuously wear the splint for between six and eight weeks. If you remove the splint and the finger begins to droop, it could be necessary to start all splinting procedures. The splint you wear for a prolonged period can be extremely difficult and rough for the skin. Please consult your doctor about ways to shield your skin when it's inside the splint.

Many types of splints are suitable for mallet fingers. You and your doctor will choose the appropriate one for your needs.

  • Be sure that the splint you are wearing does not rub against your skin or cause pain.
  • Your goal should be to ensure that your finger bone is straight enough to allow complete tendon healing.


Surgical intervention may be necessary when the joint isn't properly aligned, or you require a tendon graft to repair the tendon that has been torn. The orthopedic surgeon you consult with will take an x-ray of your hand to evaluate the severity of your injury. They will search for dislocated fractures and bone fragments. Hand surgery may involve the addition of pins to hold the finger in a straight position until the healing of the tendon. Every procedure has benefits and risks, so talk with your physician to determine the most appropriate treatment plan for your needs.

Post Recovery

Mallet fingers could take up to 8 weeks or more to recover. Once the tendon has healed, you must practice your hand and fingers to lessen stiffness and restore any strength that was lost. It can be helpful to stretch your fingers to recover the motion lost within your finger. Be gentle as you stop when you notice discomfort.


When you're able to remove the splint, your physician will recommend that you continue doing hand exercises. In addition, they may guide you to visit an experienced hand therapist trained explicitly in treating hand injuries and ailments.

Continued Splinting

If you're looking to return to your normal routine, it is possible to continue wearing a splint period until your tendon gets healed. It will prevent recurrence and help you have peace of mind. Think about wearing a splint while playing the sport or doing tasks as simple as cleaning your house.

Caring for Mallet Finger

The mallet finger refers to the tendon on the finger. It is a cause of pain and swelling, and drooping. The prompt treatment of cold therapy, splinting, or medical care can speed up recovery. After 6-8 weeks, your finger should feel better, and you can return to exercise and other activities. However, the mallet finger can become a severe injury, so consult your physician before starting any treatment.


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