Mallet Injuries

One of the more common injuries in the fingers is called a “mallet injury.” This condition results when the extensor tendon ruptures (or pulls out) from its insertion into the base of the distal phalanx. The end distal joint assumes a flexed posture because of the unopposed pull of the flexor tendon. With time, the distal joint becomes more severely deformed resulting in the appearance of a “mallet.” This injury has also been termed a “baseball finger,” or “drooped finger.” Treatment usually involves splinting of the distal joint in full extension until healing has occurred. Occasionally, surgical treatment is beneficial when the injury is caused by an open wound, if there is a significant fracture fragment, or if traditional splinting cannot be tolerated.

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