Discussions By Condition: Finger conditions

Complication from Mallet Finger Injury?

Posted In: Finger conditions 5 Replies
  • Posted By: rmmc10
  • December 18, 2006
  • 03:05 PM

About 3 months ago I suffered a mallet finger injury. Basically the tendon that runs along the top of my index finger on my right hand tore away from the bone where it attaches at the DIP joint (the little knuckle near the fingernail), breaking a piece of the bone off along with it. I went to the doctor, then to an orthopedic hand specialist. They splinted the finger for about 10 weeks and after x-raying it said that the bone healed correctly so they've been weaning me off the splint over the past 2 weeks.

The thing is that now I have very limited ability to bend the finger at the PIP joint (the big knuckle in the middle of the finger). That's not even the part of the finger where the injury was sustained. I can only bend it at the joint about 1/3 of how far it normally bends and then I feel a strong tension and tightness on the top of the knuckle and it feels like if I push it too far something will break or pop. That and the top of the knuckle turns purple when I reach that point. After I suffered the injury, but prior to going to the doctor and getting put in the splint, I was able to bend at this joint normally, so I'm guessing that something occurred during the healing process. With the way the splint was worn I didn't bend my finger at the PIP joint at all during those 10 weeks. I'm getting vague answers from my doctor so I need some suggestions on if this is normal or what's going on. I'm worried it won't get better. Thanks.

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5 Replies:

  • I have the exact same issue and have only had the splint on for 6 weeks. So I am guessing it is a result of lack of use. I remember when I had an ACL injury I had to stretch and bend the knee to get it to work normally. So the last few days I have been stretching my finger. It is swollen and stiff but does seem to be easier to move. The tip of the finger however where the injury occured I haven't started moving. I can't make a fist yet. It would be nice if the docs had more information. When I was recovering the ACL they made if very clear to stretch and work the tendon. I wonder if that is the same case with the Mallet Finger or if we should simply leave it be and it will gradually get better. Anyone with updates please add to this post.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • January 10, 2008
    • 09:29 PM
    • 0
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  • About 3 months ago I suffered a mallet finger injury. Basically the tendon that runs along the top of my index finger on my right hand tore away from the bone where it attaches at the DIP joint (the little knuckle near the fingernail), breaking a piece of the bone off along with it. I went to the doctor, then to an orthopedic hand specialist. They splinted the finger for about 10 weeks and after x-raying it said that the bone healed correctly so they've been weaning me off the splint over the past 2 weeks. The thing is that now I have very limited ability to bend the finger at the PIP joint (the big knuckle in the middle of the finger). That's not even the part of the finger where the injury was sustained. I can only bend it at the joint about 1/3 of how far it normally bends and then I feel a strong tension and tightness on the top of the knuckle and it feels like if I push it too far something will break or pop. That and the top of the knuckle turns purple when I reach that point. After I suffered the injury, but prior to going to the doctor and getting put in the splint, I was able to bend at this joint normally, so I'm guessing that something occurred during the healing process. With the way the splint was worn I didn't bend my finger at the PIP joint at all during those 10 weeks. I'm getting vague answers from my doctor so I need some suggestions on if this is normal or what's going on. I'm worried it won't get better. Thanks. ---------------I have the same issue. However, My finger was splinted for 12 weeks and now I feel like I have developed a trigger finger as a result of the lack of bending. My knuckle above the nail is enlarged, but I can make a partial fist. Should I keep exercising and will the knuckle shrink as the finger becomes more limber? Will the trigger finger eventually go away?
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • January 27, 2009
    • 04:34 PM
    • 0
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  • I cracked my left pinky at work, went to the hospital, they said it was a crack in my bone but i had erosive arthritis. after 7.2 weeks orthopedic dr said go back to work even though my finger was swollen, and still hurt. I was getting pain in my wrist and elbow also. He sent me to a surgeon, he said i still had a dip joint mallet finger deformity caused by the injury. I am in pain, he put on a different splint. It is 1 week since I saw the surgeon. Workman's comp cut off my benefits, my job won't let me come back with a splint on and If i don't wear the splint after a couple of hours it is painful. I really don't know what to do they take this so lightly, it restricts my typing as well, anybody ever experience this.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • Is anyone still on this post though it has been so long...? I have the exact same situation with my pinky, and I can only make a partial fist; I didn't go to the doctor, but I splinted myself for 2 weeks or so, and it felt better, I just can't bend it all the way as it was used to do ... hope to find some answers on this page...
    Anonymous 1 Replies Flag this Response
  • I have a mallet injury to my left #5 DIP. I waited 4 months before I saw my brother, a hand surgeon, who identified the mallet injury and said because I waited 4 months and because of my advanced age of 51 that it would take 4 months of continuous splinting to achieve a straight and healed DIP. I've had the splint meticulously splinted 24/7, but I've accidentally bumped my extended and splinted finger against hard surfaces, and each time I felt a severe jarring pain at the PIP. I almost felt like I broke the finger at the PIP each time. Today, after 8 weeks, I removed the splint. My entire finger is swollen, especially at the PIP, with purple discoloration over the PIP. I can only flex it ~ 30 degrees, and it's very sore at the limit of flexion. The DIP extends fully! I called my brother and he was vague regarding directed PT to increase ROM. I had ACL reconstruction, and post-op was directed and steady PT to increase ROM. I'm going to actively stretch the PIP and try to increase ROM.
    Anonymous 1 Replies Flag this Response
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