Mallet Finger (Baseball Finger)
What is mallet finger?
Mallet finger, also known as baseball finger, is an injury to the tendon that straightens the tip of the finger. You may be unable to straighten your finger.
Causes of mallet finger?
There is usually a jamming injury to the tip of the finger.
Symptoms of mallet finger?
You may have pain and swelling at the tip of the finger. You may be unable to straighten the tip of your finger. If the injury is old or if you do not seek medical care soon enough, you may permanently lose the ability to straighten your finger.
Diagnosis of mallet finger?
Your healthcare provider will examine your finger and review your symptoms. An X-ray may be taken to see if there is also a fracture. Commonly, the tendon will pull off a piece of the bone to which it is attached at the end of your finger.
Treatement of mallet finger?
To treat this condition:
- Your finger will be straightened and placed in a splint for about 6 weeks to allow the tendon to reattach to the finger bone or, if a piece of bone has been pulled off, to allow the bone to heal. It is important to keep this splint on to permit healing.
- Put an ice pack, gel pack, or package of frozen vegetables, wrapped in a cloth on the finger every 3 to 4 hours, for up to 20 minutes at a time.
Raise your hand on a pillow when you sit or lie down.
- Take an anti-inflammatory such as ibuprofen, or other medicine as directed by your provider. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (NSAIDs) may cause stomach bleeding and other problems. These risks increase with age. Read the label and take as directed. Unless recommended by your healthcare provider, do not take for more than 10 days.
How long will the effects last?
It is important that you wear a splint for your mallet finger for at least 6 weeks after your injury. If you wear your splint as your healthcare provider has recommended you may return to your activities immediately. NOT wearing your splint can lead to permanent injury or deformity of your finger.
When can I return to my normal activities?
Everyone recovers from an injury at a different rate. Return to your activities depends on how soon your finger recovers, not by how many days or weeks it has been since your injury. The goal is to return to your normal activities as soon as is safely possible. If you return too soon you may worsen your injury. Ask your healthcare provider when you should start rehabilitation exercises and when you can return to normal activities.
How can I prevent mallet finger?
Mallet finger is caused by a direct blow to the end of the finger during an accident that is usually not preventable.
Physiotherepy of mallet finger
Mallet Finger (Baseball Finger) Exercises
You may do these exercises right away.
Finger passive range of motion: Gently bend the injured finger with your other hand. Then gently try to straighten out the injured finger with help from your other hand. Repeat slowly, holding for 5 seconds at the end of each motion. Do this 10 times. Do these exercises 3 to 5 times a day.
Make your hand into a fist. If the injured finger will not bend into the fist, try to help it with your other hand. Hold this position for 5 to 10 seconds. Repeat 10 times.
Practice picking up small objects, such as coins, marbles, pins, or buttons, with your thumb and injured finger.
With your palm flat on a table and your fingers straight out, lift each finger straight up one at a time. Hold each finger up for 5 seconds and then put it down. Continue until you have done all 5 fingers. Repeat 10 times.
Squeeze a soft rubber ball and hold the squeeze for 5 seconds. Do 2 sets of 15.