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Identifying a Mallet Finger Injury

Identifying a Mallet Finger Injury - El Paso Chiropractor
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A mallet finger injury results when a tendon located at the tip of the fingers, causes the finger to remain bent permanently. Broken fingers, sprains, or certain chronic conditions, such as arthritis, are frequent causes for an injury on the finger. After trauma, the injury may become noticeable if the individual is unable to extend the tip of the finger.

The term mallet finger is used to describe an injury to the extensor tendon found on the back of the finger. The purpose of the extensor tendon is to straighten the fingers. This tendon works through several attachments located on the back of the fingers, including one past the last knuckle which allows the last finger joint to extend. When this distinct tendon is injured, its unable to straighten the last knuckle and the joint remains bent.

Symptoms of a Mallet Finger

The pain experienced from a mallet finger injury can be quite significant at the time of injury but soon after, the pain slowly decreases. This type of injury is often more noticeable as the last joint of the finger will be bent down and, although the joint is capable of being straightened with assistance, the individual will not be able to fully extend the tip of the finger on their own. Because people with a mallet finger injury normally experience minimal pain, this type of injury can many times remain undiagnosed for long periods of time.

Treatment for a mallet finger injury majorly involves using a simple splint. Finger splints are used in order to protect fingers and to assist in aligning the joints of the fingers that may have been altered by an injury or a chronic condition like arthritis. In more serious cases, the tendon might pull off a small fragment of the bone from the finger bone. If the fragment is considerable in size, surgical treatment might be required to avoid further joint problems.


By Dr. Alex Jimenez

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