Mallet Finger: Orthopedic Carrollton

by Administrator 26. October 2016 08:31

Mallet Finger, often referred to as Baseball Finger, is a medical condition which involves an involuntary bending or flexion of the fingertip beyond its range of motion. This usually occurs when a high speed ball hits the finger tip and ruptures the tendon of the joint. A ‘tendon’ is a strong, white, fibrous and inelastic chord that connects the bones as well as muscles. Players involved in sports such as baseball and basketball are at higher risk of having this condition.

The following injuries can occur during this condition:

  • When the tendon gets damaged but there is no crack or break in bone
  • There is rupturing of the tendon along with a small fracture
  • A large fracture takes place

Causes:

  • Sports injuries
  • Direct blow or trauma to the finger
  • Fractures

Symptoms

  • A droopy finger, that does not straighten on its own
  • Inability or difficulty in extending the finger without assistance
  • Redness around the affected area
  • Pain and numbness
  • Bruised, swollen finger, probably due to a fracture
  • Detached nail from the skin, usually coupled with a blood clot underneath

Diagnosis

  • To diagnose Mallet Finger, the doctor may conduct a physical examination and ask the patient about his medical history. He may also ask about the cause of trauma, the extent of pain as well as its location.
  • Imaging tests like an X-Ray may be recommended to check the bone alignment.

Treatment

Non- Surgical Treatment

  • Ice pack and elevation: For immediate relief, an ice pack may be applied on the affected finger, followed by elevating the arm above the heart level to restrict blood circulation to the finger.
  • Casting: The doctor may suggest wearing a cast or splint for about 6 to 8 weeks to repair the damaged tendon. This helps in immobilizing and realigning the finger to its original position.
  • Exercises: Certain physical exercises may be recommended to reduce stiffness and improve flexibility of the joint. These exercises may help to provide strength to the hand and wrist.
  • Medication: Depending on the severity of the condition, anti-inflammatory drugs may be prescribed by the orthopedic doctor. Cortisone injections may be administered in case of severe pain.

Surgical Treatment

  • Surgery may involve insertion of pins, wires and screws to realign the drooping finger
  • The treatment may also include tightening or fusing of the tendons.

For comprehensive diagnosis and treatment of Mallet Finger, consult Dr. Allmon. To schedule an appointment with the hand surgeon, call at (972) 492 – 1334 or visit 4780 N Josey Lane, Carrollton, TX 75010.

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