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Made by AJ Julka MD
“Very professional and answered all of my questions while giving me a good guide throughout the recovery process. I am an active person and it seemed like he was able to take my position into consideration with realistic goals while also disclosing any posible issues no matter how unlikely. The only way I could have been more satisfied with my injury care/surgery would be if they could have stopped me from having the injury in the first place! 10/10 would recommend especially for athletes or people leading an active lifestyle”
~ Jacob from Google Reviews
Mallet finger is a condition in which a fracture of your finger near your nail or a torn tendon results in the inability to straighten your finger completely. This can occur with a trauma like getting hit on the finger tip with a basketball or without significant force like just tucking in your bed sheets. When you look at your finger from the side you will notice a bend in your finger near the nail. We call this an extensor lag and it is a classic sign of mallet finger.
Even if you are ok living with a crooked finger you should strongly consider treating your mallet finger appropriately. Untreated mallet finger can lead to arthritis as well as a progressive deformity of your finger called swan neck deformity. This deformity can be aesthetically unpleasant and can result in serious functional deficits.
The good news about mallet finger is that it is easily diagnosed with a through hand examination and an Xray to assure no fracture has occured. No special tests such as ultrasounds or MRIs are required for the diagnosis.
Mallet finger, in a majority of cases, is treated non operatively with appropriate splinting of the finger. If you are found to have a fracture you are still typically a great candidate for non operative treatment. In some cases if we find your joint has a large gap due to the broken bone or your joint is in out of place a surgery may be necessary.
Mallet finger surgery is typically performed for mallet fingers with fractures. Dr. Julka typically performs this surgery with local anesthetic with or without sedation based on patient preference. In the surgery, the fracture is aligned without making any incisions and a small pin is placed in the bone to hold it in place. A custom splint is made for you at your post operative appointment to protect the pin and your fracture allowing it appropriate time to heal.
All mallet finger surgeries are performed at a surgery center on an outpatient basis.
You will be placed in a small splint after your surgery. You will leave the splint in place for a week or so till your post operative appointment. At your post operative appointment you will see Dr. Julka as well as a occupational therapist who will make you a custom splint to protect the pin and your fracture allowing it appropriate time to heal. At 4-6 weeks after surgery Dr. Julka will gently remove the pin in the office and allow you to start moving your finger. We expect return to full activities at 8-12 weeks after surgery.
We expect return to full activities at 8-12 weeks after surgery.
Due to the risk of swan neck deformity and possible progressive but preventable arthritis I recommend all patients with suspected mallet finger or finger fracture seek treatment.