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Mallet Finger

Stretched Tendons and Broken Bones Keep Mallet Fingers Permanently Bent

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Updated July 26, 2010

Mallet Finger
(c) Jerry Sutphin
Mallet fingers are more about tendons than bones, but there can be a fracture involved. Mallet fingers happen when enough pressure is applied to the tip of the finger to stretch or tear the tendon that pulls the finger straight. Sometimes, the tendon can be ripped from the bone and cause a fracture of the bones of the finger, as happened in this case.

If the tendon is simply stretched and not torn, mallet fingers can be treated with a simple splint to keep the finger straight until the tendon heals. If the tendon is torn or the bones are broken, surgery may be required, as it was in this case.

Mallet fingers often happen during sports. Sometimes they're called baseball finger or football finger. These injuries can lead to permanent damage, so it's important to see a doctor if you suspect mallet finger or have trouble straightening your finger after an impact.

Any opinions expressed here are for educational purposes only and are not intended for diagnosis.

Have a fracture you want to share? Submit a picture of your injury here.

Want to talk about fractures? Ask others and see more on the First Aid Forum.

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