2. Mallet Finger Causes
3. Mallet Finger Symptoms
4. Mallet Finger Treatment
4.5. Finger Strengthening Equipment
4.6. Mallet Finger Exercise
6. Healing Your Mallet Finger is Effortless
Mallet finger occurs when the tendon responsible for straightening the finger is damaged, leading to a deformity. When suffering from mallet finger, pain is often experienced, while others feel no pain at all. Treatments for mallet finger can be as minimal as using a splint, or as serious as surgery. In this injury guide, you’ll learn how to identify mallet finger and different mallet finger treatments.
Also known as “baseball finger,” this condition is defined as a deformity in the finger that prevents you from straightening it. The tendon responsible for straightening the finger or thumb is damaged, causing the finger to bend further than normal.
The extensor tendon is in charge of straightening the fingers and thumbs. In a mallet finger injury, the force of a blow hitting the tip of the finger causes the tendon to tear. The tendon may rapture or pull, causing a lot of pain.
The middle three fingers on the dominant hand are the most likely to suffer from a mallet injury, often from sports or other physical activities.
The two are often confused with one another, as they involve not being able to straighten out the finger. Let’s look at their differences:
Mallet finger is caused by damage to the tendon, often caused by a severe impact. The most common mallet finger causes include:
Quite possibly the most common cause of a mallet finger deformity, any sport involving a ball puts you at risk of the injury. Basketball and baseball players often experience mallet finger.
Physical labor, often in the form or warehouse work or construction, can result in a mallet finger injury. A crushing accident experienced on the job can severely injure the finger, making recovery quite difficult.
There are three different types of injuries that can occur.
While the condition is easily managed, there are a few troublesome symptoms to look out for. They include:
The most common mallet finger complications come in the form of treatment side effects. The tendon can completely heal itself and with proper treatment your finger could be back to normal with four to eight weeks.
When using a splint, you may experiences sores on the skin. This is normal and can be fixed by ensuring a proper fit. Also, relying on pain medication to get by can cause unwanted issues, but there isn’t anything long-term to worry about.
Do not put off your doctor’s visit just because symptoms seem mild. As soon as you notice the condition, visit your doctor. They will determine if you need X-rays and whether or not to send you to a hand surgeon. Chronic mallet finger–when the condition hasn’t healed with the help of a splint–is likely to require surgery.
It’s important not to delay your mallet finger treatment, especially if you’re experiencing severe pain and redness. Even if you’re able to use your finger, you still need treatment, and delaying it will only make matters worse.
Treatment comes in many different forms, including:
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Immediately after the injury, cease all activity that could worsen the condition. Give your finger time to rest while planning your next course of treatment. Applying an ice pack gel can help reduce the pain and swelling. Simply place the ice pack on or around your finger for up to fifteen minutes.
If your mallet finger isn’t too severe, without any major fractures or breaks, a splint may be all you need to solve the problem. If your thumb is injured, an arthritis thumb splint will help stabilize the finger while it heals.
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For any other finger, your doctor could recommend a trigger finger splint. While the conditions are different, they are similar enough that they share treatment methods. Oval 8 splints for mallet finger are also recommended.
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You’ll need to wear the splint for at least six weeks to give your finger enough time to heal. Many people report mallet finger swelling after splinting. If you experience this, report back to your doctor.
You’ll most likely be prescribed pain medication by your doctor, especially if you report feeling severe pain. In other cases, over-the-counter painkillers will be enough to manage mallet finger pain. Take these for as long as needed.
Mallet finger radiology tests will be able to determine whether or not you need surgery to repair the finger. In severe cases where there’s a large break, this will likely be the case. When a splint isn’t enough to heal your finger, surgery is probably required.
While the majority of cases heal without surgery, cases with large fractures will need it. Surgery will be done to repair the fracture with pins. This is to hold the bone together while it heals.
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After splinting or surgery, you’ll want to do what you can to restore strength to your finger. A finger strengthenercan be used to increase the strength in your fingers, wrists, and forearms. You won’t want to do this prematurely, as it could cause more pain, but when you feel ready, it’ll help.
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You could also use therapy putty for the purpose of mallet finger rehab. Start with a low resistance level and work your way up.
Mallet finger recovery exercises go a long way in restoring flexibility to your finger. Try these workouts:
The estimated mallet finger recovery time is 4 to 6 weeks if you wear your splint consistently. If you don’t wear it as recommended or are late seeking treatment, your recovery time will be prolonged.
As for mallet finger recovery rate, it’s quite high. The majority of patients heal with a splint alone, but those who don’t find treatment through surgery.
Your finger will most likely be healed after four weeks if it’s a minor injury, or six weeks if there’s a small fracture. If swelling is present after taking off a splint, your finger is still injured and you may even need to get another x-ray.
Once the pain subsides and your finger returns back to normal, it’s healed and ready to go.
Proper mallet finger repair doesn’t have to be hard. In fact, as long as you seek professional help from a doctor as soon as possible, your injury will heal quickly and without complications.
When an injury occurs, rest it at home with ice until you’re able to get to a doctor. They’ll prescribe you pain medication and give you a splint. This is all you need to heal most cases of mallet finger. After your finger heals, it may be a bit more fragile than before. Be cautious when playing sports or engaging in any other activity that could cause another injury.
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