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Have a droop in your finger tip? It could be a mallet injury.

What are Mallet Injuries?

A mallet injury occurs when the tip of your finger gets forcefully bent down, causing damage to the extensor tendon. This tendon is responsible for straightening your fingertip, so when it's injured, you may notice a droopy appearance at the tip of the affected finger.

There are two types of mallet injuries:

  1. Tendinous Mallet: This type involves the tendon pulling away from the bone. It's the most common form of mallet injury.

  2. Bony Mallet: In this case, there's a fracture at the tip of the finger bone, along with the tendon injury.

To determine which type of mallet injury you have, an X-ray is necessary. This helps us to see if the bone has been injured as well. An x-ray also allows us to see if the joint is sitting in alignment. Knowing these things from an X-ray is important because the treatment timeframes for each mallet type can vary and if the bone involvement is quite large, we know when to send you for a surgical review.

Treatment Options for Mallet Injuries

At Riverina Hand Therapy, we're dedicated to helping you heal and recover from mallet injuries. After our an assessment, we'll create a personalised treatment plan based on your specific needs and mallet injury type. We take into account your work role, or daily demands, and yes... we factor in return to sport if needed!

Splinting: The majority of mallet injuries can be treated using a customised splint. We make these during your appointment. This holds the fingertip in a straight position, allowing the tendon to heal properly. Depending on the type and severity of your injury, the splint may need to be worn for up to 6 weeks, sometimes longer for tendinous mallets. After this, there is a weaning process that we undertake until the tendon is strong enough to return to its normal life!

Surgical Referral: In some cases, the joint may be affected, and a splint alone might not be enough to ensure the best outcome. If this is the case, we'll work closely with local hand surgeons to provide additional support and treatment options.

Can we help with old mallet injuries? YES. If you think you've had a recent or older injury to a finger, come and see us. There are lots of options. If your mate or neighbour has told you "nothing they can do about that".... come and find out for yourself instead.


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