What is Mallet Finger?

Personal Injury Attorney Discusses Mallet Finger

What is Mallet Finger?

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento personal injury lawyer. After a minor fender bender or other accident, your finger refuses to straighten without assistance. Likely, you are experiencing Mallet Finger. Let’s find out what that means and how your doctor will make a diagnosis?

Description of  Mallet Finger

Mallet Finger (also known as Baseball Finger) occurs with injury to the joint at the end of a finger or thumb. Not being able to straighten one of your hand’s digits after contact with an object during a car accident or other trauma suggests this condition.

Watch Youtube VideoMallet Finger – Everything You Need to Know. In this video see the many bones in the human hand. Learn how blunt force to the digits can cause an injury to the bone and tendon resulting in a mallet finger.

The Anatomy

Fine tissues called tendons connect bones. And, in your hand, extensor tendons running along the top of your fingers straighten, yes, extend, your pointer, pinkie and their comrades.

The Condition

A tear in the extensor tendon at the end of the finger or thumb prevents the digit from extending fully. In other words, you are not able to straighten the impacted finger. This injury is called Mallet Finger.

With this condition, the tendon either ruptures of pulls away from where it attaches to the bone. In an avulsion injury, part of the bone is torn away with the tendon. Any of these cases is considered a form of Mallet.

The Symptoms

Typically, the long, ring and small fingers of a person’s primary hand see the greatest risk for this type of traumatic injury. Pain, swelling and bruising are symptoms. However, the drooping of the fingertip which is only straightened with assistance proves the telltale sign of Mallet.

What Causes Mallet Finger?

While the nickname Baseball Finger paints the picture that Mallet Finger is a sports-related injury. There is more to this condition.

The Truth of the Matter

The truth is that contact between the tip of your finger or thumb and any unyielding object causes this condition. Whether through contact with a baseball, basketball, refrigerator door, counter top or car accident, the tips of fingers risk injury in adults and children. Anytime your finger is bent more than it should, you are at risk for mallet finger. The force on the finger leads to a tear in the tendon.

Car Accidents

The problem comes when the impact forces the tip of your digit to bend further than intended. In an example of a car accident, fingers and thumbs risk contact with any number of hard surfaces. Windshields, dashboards, doors, children’s car seats and the like become one of the first places of contact for hands as accident victims naturally brace themselves.

Diagnosis of Mallet Finger

Seeking medical treatment following a car accident proves important. And, in the diagnosis of Mallet Finger, a physical exam and x-rays make the final determination. In the mean time, apply ice and take over the counter pain medications for relief of your symptoms until you are able to see your doctor.

Typically, non-surgical treatment requires splinting for eight weeks to allow for healing. However, for children injury to cartilage which impacts bone growth must be assessed. In cases of bone fracture or joint alignment issues, surgery may be recommended.

Sacramento Personal Injury Lawyer

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento personal injury lawyer. If you’ve been injured in an accident as a result of the carelessness of another party, please give me a call at (916) 921-6400 for fast, free, friendly advice. I also may be reached on this toll-free number (800) 404-5400.

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