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Mallet Finger

Commonly an athletic injury, mallet finger occurs when the outermost joint of the finger is injured. Basketball and baseball players routinely experience jammed fingers, but the injury can occur because of a crushing accident on the job or even because of a cut finger while working in the kitchen.

Mallet Finger

Mallet Finger

With mallet finger, the tendon on the back of the finger (not the palm side) is separated from the muscles it connects.

Three types of injuries commonly occur:

  • The tendon is damaged, but no fractures (bone cracks or breaks) are present.

  • The tendon ruptures with a small fracture caused by the force of the injury.

  • The tendon ruptures with a large fracture.

Mallet Finger Causes

Mallet finger occurs when the outermost joint of the finger is injured. With mallet finger, the tendon on the back of the finger (not the palm side) is separated from the muscles it connects. Three types of injuries commonly occur:

  • The tendon is damaged, but no fractures (bone cracks or breaks) are present.

  • The tendon ruptures with a small fracture caused by the force of the injury.

  • The tendon ruptures with a large fracture.

Mallet Finger Symptoms

People with mallet finger may delay seeking medical attention-even though they may be in a great deal of pain-simply because they can still use their hand.

Symptoms may include the following:

  • Pain, tenderness, and swelling at the outermost joint immediately after the injury

  • Swelling and redness soon after the injury

  • Inability to completely extend the finger but can move it with help

When to Seek Medical Care

Call a doctor immediately to evaluate the injury to determine the need for x-ray films, and to repair any deep cuts. The doctor may recommend an appointment with a hand surgeon for further evaluation or surgery.

A doctor may instruct a person with mallet finger to go to a hospital’s emergency department for further evaluation.

Exams and Tests

X-ray films help the doctor to determine if the bone has suffered a crack or break. Imaging studies may also help the doctor to see any foreign debris in the cut (laceration).

Mallet Finger Treatment Self-Care at Home

  • Apply ice to the injured finger joint to reduce swelling and tenderness. Wrap ice in a towel; do not apply ice directly to skin. A bag of frozen vegetables wrapped in a towel conforms nicely to the hand.

  • Take care not to injure the finger even more.

  • If a cut is also present, clean the cut under running water for a few minutes, then wrap the finger with clean gauze or a cloth. Apply a moderate amount of pressure to help stop any bleeding.

Medical Treatment

  • If the finger is not broken or cut, or if only a small fracture is present, the doctor applies a splint to the end of the finger so it remains extended. With a splint, the outermost joint on the injured finger is not bendable, but the rest of your finger is bendable. This splint needs to be worn for at least 6-8 weeks, perhaps longer, to ensure that the tendon is given the best chance of healing.

  • The doctor also repairs any cuts or damage to the skin. And, if necessary, the tendon may be stitched (sutured) to repair it.

  • For pain relief, apply ice to the joint.

Treat your Mallet Finger Today. Call us +65 64712744 (24 Hours) or Email to: info@boneclinic.com.sg for appointment

Hand, Finger and Wrist Injuries

At one time or another, everyone has had a minor injury to a finger, hand, or wrist that caused pain or swelling. Most of the time our body movements do not cause problems, but it’s not surprising that symptoms develop from everyday wear and tear, overuse, or an injury.

Finger, hand, or wrist injuries most commonly occur during:

  • Sports or recreational activities.
  • Work-related tasks.
  • Work or projects around the home, especially if using machinery such as lawn mowers, snow blowers, or hand tools.
  • Accidental falls.
  • Fistfights.

The risk of finger, hand, or wrist injury is higher in contact sports, such as wrestling, football, or soccer, and in high-speed sports, such as biking, in-line skating, skiing, snowboarding, and skateboarding. Sports that require weight-bearing on the hands and arms, such as gymnastics, can increase the risk for injury. Sports that use hand equipment such as ski poles, hockey or lacrosse sticks, or racquets also increase the risk of injury.

In children, most finger, hand, or wrist injuries occur during sports or play or from accidental falls. Any injury occurring at the end of a long bone near a joint may injure the growth plate (physis) and needs to be evaluated.

Older adults are at higher risk for injuries and fractures because they lose muscle mass and bone strength (osteopenia) as they age. They also have more problems with vision and balance, which increases their risk of accidental injury.

Most minor injuries will heal on their own, and home treatment is usually all that is needed to relieve symptoms and promote healing.

Sudden (acute) injury

An acute injury may occur from a direct blow, a penetrating injury, or a fall, or from twisting, jerking, jamming, or bending a limb abnormally. Pain may be sudden and severe. Bruising and swelling may develop soon after the injury. Acute injuries include:

  • Bruises. After a wrist or hand injury, bruising may extend to the fingers from the effects of gravity. See a picture of a bruise (contusion) .
  • Injuries to ligaments. See a picture of a torn thumb ligament  as in skier’s thumb.
  • Injuries to tendons, such as mallet finger.
  • Injuries to joints (sprains).
  • Pulled muscles (strains).
  • Broken bones (fractures), such as a wrist fracture .
  • Dislocations.
  • Crushing injury, which can lead to compartment syndrome.

Overuse injuries

Overuse injuries occur when too much stress is placed on a joint or other tissue, often by “overdoing” an activity or repeating the same activity. Overuse injuries include the following:

  • Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by pressure on a nerve (median nerve ) in the wrist. The symptoms include tingling, numbness, weakness, or pain of the fingers and hand. See a picture of carpal tunnel syndrome .
  • Tendon pain is actually a symptom of tendinosis, a series of very small tears (microtears) in the tissue in or around the tendon. In addition to pain and tenderness, common symptoms of tendon injury include decreased strength and movement in the affected area.
  • De Quervain’s disease can occur in the hand and wrist when tendons and the tendon covering (sheath) on the thumb side of the wrist swell and become inflamed. See a picture of de Quervain’s disease .

Treatment

Treatment for a finger, hand, or wrist injury may include first aid measures; medicine; “buddy-taping” for support; application of a brace, splint, or cast; physical therapy; and in some cases, surgery. Treatment depends on:

  • The location, type, and severity of the injury.
  • How long ago the injury occurred.
  • Your age, health condition, and activities (such as work, sports, or hobbies).

Stop the pain and get your hand checked. Call +65 6471 2744 (24 Hours) or SMS to +65 9235 7641