Mallet finger is a tendon injury that is causing by jamming the tip of the finger. These injuries are treated by Dr. Peter G. Fitzgibbons, MD at The Centers for Advanced Orthopaedics: Maryland Orthopedic Specialists Division. Dr. Fitzgibbons performed fellowship training in hand, wrist, and elbow surgery through the Harvard Hand & Upper Extremity Fellowship based at Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Boston. With locations in both Germantown and Bethesda, Maryland, he and a team of orthopaedists, hand therapists, and physical therapists offer a comprehensive range of services covering the diagnosis and treatment of mallet fingers.
A mallet finger is a tendon injury that occurs when the finger is jammed and the tendon that straightens the joint at the end of the finger is pulled off. Sometimes there is also a small fracture. The term describes the appearance of the finger, where the end of the finger droops down because the tendon is no longer attached. For more information see: http://www.assh.org/handcare/hand-arm-conditions/mallet-finger.
The vast majority of mallet fingers will heal in a splint that holds the joint straight 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for 6 weeks. Sometimes there is an associated fracture that causes the joint at the end of the finger to fall into an abnormal position. In rare cases, a procedure is done to move the bones back into place and hold them with pins for 4 to 6 weeks in order for the joint to heal in an appropriate position.
Surgery for a mallet finger is an outpatient procedure and can be done with local anesthesia. Pins are placed to hold the bones and these are taken out in the office after 4 to 6 weeks. Dr. Fitzgibbons performs most of these procedures at the Massachusetts Avenue Surgery Center, an outpatient surgery center that provides a safe, patient-oriented experience in a friendly and comfortable environment. Once the bones are healed and pins are out, hand therapy is begun under the direction of Stephanie
Clement, CHT, our certified hand therapist.