Mallet Finger: Cause, Diagnosis and Treatment

Mallet finger results from an injury to the distal (used for finger prints) part of the finger. This occurs when the extended finger is suddenly forced into flexion. It is also known as baseball finger.

Before reading further it would be good to first see Finger Anatomy (skip if you have already done so).

Symptoms include

  • pain over the distal joint of the finger
  • inability to extend the distal finger completely

X rays may show a small fracture of the distal finger bone. No fracture is seen if the trauma has caused tendon rupture or lengthening.

mallet finger anatomy mallet finger deformity

In this photograph you can see a mallet deformity of the right middle finger along with the normal left finger shown for comparison. The subject had no problem in doing his daily chores, but he was rejected from recruitment in the armed forces due to this deformity.

Treatment includes immobilizing the distal finger joint in extension with the help of a splint for 4 to 6 weeks.

Prognosis is good if there are no other complicating factors such as lacerations and deep abrasions involving the skin and tendons.

In the absence of these complicating factors even those patients had good results, who didn't take any treatment.

I hope the information provided was helpful. If you have any query you can ask me at the contact me page.

This page was last updated on 13th March 2009.

Other causes of finger joint pain...

Finger Fracture

Finger Amputation

Glomus Tumor


Trigger Finger

Swan Neck Deformity

Boutonniere Deformity

Kirner Deformity


Bowlers Thumb

Thumb Dislocation

Go back from Mallet Finger to Finger Joint Pain


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