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Emergency Department

Mallet Finger

You have torn the tendon that straightens the end joint of your finger. We call this a “mallet” injury.

To treat this, the joint must be held straight in a splint for 6-8 weeks as tendons heal only very slowly. You will be followed up in the clinic during this time.

If the finger is allowed to bend during this time healing will not occur and the “droop” of the finger will be permanent. The splint should therefore be removed ONLY for cleaning and while keeping the finger straight.

 

Do Not

1. Attempt to examine the healing by bending the finger tip until advised by the treating doctor.

2. Wear any rings on this hand until the injured finger has healed. All rings must be removed to avoid swelling and circulation problems.

 

DO

1. Keep your hand elevated and exercise all its joints except the splinted joint!

2. Check that you have been booked for the clinic.

Your fingertip droops because the tendon to extend it has snapped. The treatment is to avoid letting your fingertip drop at all times for a minimum of six to eight weeks.

Your fingertip must be supported in extension either by a firm object or the pad of your thumb if you are not using your splint.

The splint (which may vary in design) will allow the tip to be kept extended when the hand is in use.

It must be removed at intervals for the purpose of hygiene to the finger and cleaning of the splint. Replace it when you go to bed.

The splint must be applied to allow the proximal joint to flex.


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