Physiotherapy for Mallet Finger


Mallet finger, also called baseball finger, is an injury to the tendon attaching near the tip of your finger. A tendon is a strong band of tissue that connects a muscle to a bone. The extensor tendon attaches at the bone on the tip of your finger that helps straighten your finger.

Causes of Mallet Finger

Mallet finger is often caused by a sudden or forceful bending of the tip of your finger resulting in tearing of your extensor tendon. It is a fairly common injury among athletes participating in ball games, such as football, basketball, volleyball, or baseball.

In some cases, a portion of the finger bone is chipped resulting in a small fracture instead of tearing of the extensor tendon. This condition is called an avulsion fracture.

Symptoms

If you have mallet finger, you may experience
  • Pain at the site of your injury
  • Swelling
  • Bruising after a few hours after the injury
  • Inability to straighten your injured finger

What you can do

Immediately apply an ice pack wrapped in towel for 20 minutes at a time and elevate your limb above the level of your heart. Seek medical attention as mallet finger does not tend to correct itself.

Physiotherapy Treatment Options for Mallet Finger

Your finger will be put in a splint to avoid movement and allow healing for a few weeks. You will be advised to wear the splint always during your recovery.

Physiotherapy treatments may include
  • Cold therapy
  • Recommend splinting of the injured finger
  • Stretching
  • Physiotherapy exercises
    • Passive and active range of motion exercises
    • Strengthening exercises
    • General conditioning exercises
  • Patient education
  • Return to activity rehabilitation program

The type of physiotherapy treatments that you will receive depends on your specific problems and rehab goals. Your physiotherapist will determine the appropriate treatments that you will receive. Your therapist may also provide you with home treatment program to self-manage your symptoms. In addition, your PT will provide you with a home exercise program that you can do at home when your splint has already been removed.

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