Category : Mallet Finger

Hand Jammed Finger Mallet Finger Sports Injury

Video: Causes and Treatment of Mallet Finger


Mallet Finger
, sometimes known as baseball finger, happens when the top part of the finger is injured, forcing your finger to droop down and no longer straighten. Watch our short, 3-minute video to learn more about this injury and how to treat it. The video features NBA basketball player Dirk Nowitzki.

This injury is common in sports because it is easy for a basketball, baseball or football to strike the finger forcibly. While it may just seem like a jammed finger (you will have pain, swelling and bruising), there can be serious damage with a mallet finger. Early treatment is very important, especially if you see blood under the nail. Your doctor may treat you with a splint, cast or surgery, depending on how severe the injury is.

Learn more about this injury at www.HandCare.org.

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Ask a Doctor: Mallet Finger

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Dr. Ben Jacobs answers your questions about Mallet Finger:

My finger droops even when I try to straighten the tip. What is going on?

A mallet finger is a very common condition and can happen to any of the fingers.  It occurs when the tendon that straightens your finger pulls away from the bone at the end of the finger. Sometimes the tendon takes a small piece of bone with it (mallet fracture) and other times not.  It might or might not hurt. Mallet fingers need treatment if you want to be able to straighten the finger again.

When should I seek treatment for my injury?

In the case of mallet finger, a trip to the emergency room isn’t usually needed unless the skin on the finger is severely injured.  However, you should see your doctor or hand surgeon as soon as you can — ideally within a few days or weeks — to begin treatment.  Success with treatment sometimes is possible if treatment starts a few months after the injury.

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Advice from a Certified Hand Therapist: Mallet Finger

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What is happening to my fingertip? It doesn’t go straight anymore.

If you can’t extend the tip of your finger, you may have what is called a mallet finger. This happens when the end of the tendon that lifts your fingertip becomes separated from the fingertip. There are a few different ways this can happen.

Do I need to do anything about this? Will it heal on its own?

If you have a mallet finger, it needs to be treated; it will not heal on its own. You should consult with your doctor, and possibly a hand surgeon.

A hand surgeon? That sounds serious!

It may be. Sometimes the tendon comes off the fingertip with a portion of the bone – sometimes it only comes partially off. Having a specialist assess it and direct you will ensure you have a good outcome.

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Random Fact: Mallet Finger

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Major League Baseball pitchers are 2.79 times more likely to suffer from an upper extremity injury than fielders. Learn about Mallet Finger, an injury sometimes known as “baseball finger”.

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