Mallet finger is caused by the tendon coming away from the end finger bone, sometimes involving a bony fragment. The end finger joint cannot be actively straightened and stays in a bent position. Often mallet finger is caused by a blunt force to the fingertip. If surgery is not indicated therapy involves a small thermoplastic splint holding the end joint straight for 6 – 10 weeks.
Mallet Finger Therapy
- A small splint holds the end joint straight. The end joint cannot be bent while the healing occurs.
- The splint needs to be worn 24 hours a day for 10 weeks.
- The splint can be removed for hygiene while keeping the joint straight. Your therapist will show you how to safely remove the splint.
- The joints that are not splinted need to be kept moving through using the hand &/or with exercises.
- Oedema management if swelling is present.
- There are a variety of splint styles and materials that can be used. Your therapist will discuss the options with you. If you are not entirely happy with your splint an alternative can be tried.
- At the end of the splinting period, therapy may be required to regain the bending movement at the affected joint, or there may be a small lag present.