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Finger Injury

Mallet Finger

What is Mallet Finger?

This common injury is often caused by a force hitting the tip of the finger causing it to hyper-flex.  This injury is frequently sustained during ball sports in particular football, basketball or netball.  The force to the finger tip causes a rupture of the tendon that straightens the tip of the finger.  It may also include a small fracture.

Your finger will present with the tip bent down (like a “mallet”, hence the name) and you will be unable to straighten it. If this occurs you should contact your Hand Therapist.  Immediate treatment is important for a full recovery.


A small custom thermoplastic finger splint will be made by your hand therapist to hold the tip of the finger in the correct position for healing for 6 weeks 24/7. This allows the tendon insertion that has pulled away from the bone to reattach. After 6 weeks the splint will be removed and therapy focuses on attempting to actively straighten the finger tip.  Occasionally surgery is required to repair these injuries if the tendon causes avulsion of a large bone fragment.  


Trigger Finger

What is Trigger Finger?

Trigger finger is a common hand condition. Triggering of the finger or thumb develops when the tendon that bends the finger is unable to glide freely because of a nodule or swelling. This causes the tendon to catch on the pulley at the base of the finger in the palm. The finger may “lock” or “trigger” suddenly following attempt to make a fist and then extend with a “snap”.

Who does Trigger finger affect ?

Triggering occurs most commonly in the thumb followed with decreasing incidence in the ring, little and index fingers. Trigger finger occurs most commonly in middle aged females. It is also reported to be more common in those with Rheumatoid Arthritis, Diabetes, Dupuytrens Contracture and repetitive trauma. Trigger finger commonly co-exists with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.


Treatment of this condition is directed at restoring normal tendon gliding. If the triggering symptoms have been present for less than 6 months approximately successful treatment can be achieved by Hand Therapy. Your Hand Therapist will make you a custom thermoplastic splint to rest the tendon and prescribe tendon gliding exercises. Usually symptoms will resolve within 6-8 weeks of splinting. If the triggering fails to respond to therapy your Hand Therapist may refer you for Cortisone injection or discuss an alternative treatment called iontophoresis. Iontophporesis is a pain free, side effect free alternative to cortisone injection. Failing these measures your Hand Therapist may recommend a surgical consultation to consider release of the pulley.

To discuss your finger injury and for treatment contact TSIC now.