How to take care of and recover from a common but sometimes vexing finger injury.
By Mark D, Harris
Mallet finger usually results from forced flexion of the distal (most distant) part of the finger (distal phalanx – DP) during active extension of the DP. The condition is caused by a rupture of the extensor tendon (on the back of the finger) that crosses the distal interphalangeal joint (DIPJ) from the proximal phalanx (PP) to the DP. Part of the bone may also be avulsed (pulled away). Mallet finger is the most common closed tendon injury in athletes. Often, patients explain that a ball hit their partially flexed fingertip. Patients complain of pain, swelling, and an inability to fully extend their DP.