Mallet Finger

Mallet Finger

Mallet Finger

The hands are complex structures made up of bones, joints, muscles, tendons, ligaments, nerves, and blood vessels. There are many types of hand conditions that exist that can affect the hands in different ways. Various injuries, diseases, and disorders can impact the function and health of the hands.

One such hand condition is Mallet Finger which is a type of deformation of the fingers. Based on your specific situation, our hand expert Dr. Ehab Bassim Aldyami can diagnose the severity of the injury and advice the most appropriate plan for Mallet Finger treatment in Dubai.

What is Mallet Finger?

A Mallet Finger is a finger deformity that is typically caused by injury. The smallest joint of the finger just before the fingernail droops and appears crooked after the fingertip becomes jammed. This makes the finger look like a mallet or hammer.

Mallet Finger deformity can occur when an object, such as a ball, strikes the tip of a finger and bends the joint down too quickly and too far. The force of the hit can either tear or break the extensor tendon.

The extensor tendon connects the muscle to the bone, allowing the finger to straighten out (extend). 

When a mallet injury happens:

  • The fingertip is still bent. You can straighten your finger with your other hand, but it will return to its bent state.
  • It can occasionally break off a piece of bone. This is known as a bony mallet. A soft tissue mallet occurs when the bone does not break but the tendon tears.

Symptoms of Mallet Finger

Post the initial pain of the injury, you may experience:

  • A finger that is bent at the last joint and cannot straighten on its own.
  • A tearing or popping sensation in the finger at the time of injury
  • After 48 hours, there is bruising
  • When moving the injured finger, there is pain.
  • Tenderness, swelling, and heat, particularly on the back of the finger or joint
  • A fingernail that has come undone
  • Redness underneath the fingernail bed

What is the main cause of Mallet Finger?

An injury to the extensor tendon, which straightens the end joint just before the fingernail, causes this condition. Mallet Finger injury is a rupture of the extensor tendon. This can happen quickly due to jamming or cutting the finger, or it can happen gradually due to arthritis stretching out the tendon over time.

This condition can also occur when the small joint is forcefully bent during use, such as when lifting heavy objects, which causes the joint to bend. A small amount of force applied at the wrong angle can cause the tendon to rupture. Scrubbing dishes and bumping an object when putting clothes in a drawer are two examples.

A mallet finger can also be caused by a deep cut on the back of the finger from a knife or sharp object. This cut can reach the bone and separate the extensor tendon from the bone.

The cause and acuteness of the condition will decide if you would need Mallet finger surgery to treat the same.

Mallet finger Fixation

Healing requires both immediate and long-term treatment.

If you are injured, you must immediately:

  • Wrap a towel around an ice pack and place it on your finger.
  • Place your index finger above your heart. This can aid in reducing swelling and pain.
  • If necessary, use over-the-counter pain relievers.

Long-Term Treatment

Long-term treatment entails placing your fingertip in a splint and keeping it in place for at least six weeks while your tendon heals. If a piece of bone is pulled off, our doctor may order another X-ray after a week or two of splinting to ensure that the bone fragment is in the proper position and that the healing process is proceeding normally.

You’ll then have to wear your splint all day and night for at least six weeks. The splint may be carefully removed during this time to allow for cleaning of both the splint and the finger, but you should avoid strenuous activities and sports to avoid recurrent injury.

When is Mallet finger surgery required?

If your joint is misaligned, your finger is broken, or there are bone fragments resulting in an unstable joint, your injury is considered complex, and you may need surgery. Our surgeon Dr. Ehab may make a small incision in your skin or insert a pin or wire to keep your fingertip straight during this type of surgery.

Mallet Finger Treatment in Dubai

Dr. Ehab Bassim Aldyami is a consultant Hand & Wrist surgeon who exclusively treats hand and wrist conditions. He is knowledgeable about the full range of hand and wrist pathologies and has performed arthroscopic and joint replacement surgery on upper limb joints.

When consulted, he will do his best to diagnose your problem, learn about your desires, and assist you in deciding what is best for you. In very simple terms, he will discuss the benefits and drawbacks of each potential treatment.

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