Mallet Finger Injury Treatment After 3 Years

Patient

Q: I have an untreated pinky mallet finger that hasnt been treated for almost 3 years now due to lack of healthcare. I was someone can enlighten me on how much different my situation is now vs the time my accident accured, and what are the recommended options regarding treatment. Thank you for your time.

Doctor

A:   Mallet finger is a condition in which the end joint of a finger bends but will not straighten by itself. The mechanism which straightens the end joint has been disrupted or torn. This usually happens when the tip of the finger is pushed down while the person is trying to straighten their finger. The tendon which pulls on the end bone to straighten the finger pulls one way, and the force on the end of the fingertip pulls the other way, and something comes apart in between. Often, the tendon tears away from its attachment to the bone. The longer the finger stays bent, the harder it will be to fix. The treatment usually involves Hand therapy and the use of a customized splint If the injury is more than three months old and has not been treated, it is unlikely that it will get better or worse on its own. Injuries more than three months old are not likely to be improved with anything less than surgery.

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