Mallet Finger Recovery and Treatment in Houston, TX
The hands are made of a complex system of bones, muscles, tendons, and more. These tiny components are responsible for many important functions and movements that we utilize in our everyday lives, making an injury to this area rather difficult to manage without proper care from a professional.
The Hand Surgery Specialists of Texas are highly trained and experienced in the diagnosis and treatment of conditions that affect the hand, wrist, forearm, and elbow. This includes one such hand condition known as mallet finger.
What Is Mallet Finger?
Mallet finger is a condition often seen in baseball players, as it frequently occurs after an object has struck the finger. This intense force can lead to the tearing of the finger’s extensor tendon, which is responsible for keeping the joint straight when at rest. Once this tendon is ruptured or torn, the individual will no longer be able to straighten the affected finger(s) without assistance.
In addition to being unable to straighten the finger(s), individuals with this condition will also notice significant swelling, bruising, and pain surrounding the injured area. It is also possible for a small fracture to have occurred along with a torn extensor tendon, which may produce blood beneath the fingernail.
Immediate Action Needed
There is no way to relieve a case of mallet finger by letting the area heal on its own. Icing the area will help to control swelling, though this will only offer a small amount of relief. Those that forgo treatment will typically experience lasting stiffness and/or a deformity of the hand. The only solution to regain full function of the affected finger(s) is to have your symptoms addressed by a medical professional, and to follow their recommended course of treatment as closely as possible.
Our specialized physicians will access the injury by performing a simple physical examination of the hand. They may also order an X-ray if they suspect that a fracture in the bone may be present as well, or to determine if the finger has been dislocated from its proper alignment.
Treatment for Mallet Finger
Most cases of mallet finger will not require surgery to correct the patient’s limp fingertip. Instead, a majority of patients will have their finger put in a splint to immobilize the area and hopefully allow the extensor tendon to reattach itself over time. It is necessary for the splint to remain in place for the entirety of this process, as removing it before instructed to do so could easily re-injure the finger.
If the case is more severe, surgery may be necessary. This recommendation is typically made if a large fracture exists, which will need to be pinned in place to prevent it from moving around the joint and causing a significant amount of pain to the individual.
Even if you are not a baseball player, or athlete of any kind, you may still sustain an injury to the hand that results in a case of mallet finger. Be sure to follow up as soon as possible with a specialist in order to receive immediate treatment and prevent any further damage to the finger. If you would like to schedule a consultation with one of our exceptional hand surgery specialists to discuss mallet finger, or a variety of other hand conditions that you may be suffering from, please call (713) 374-4263 today!