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Quick Facts

Mallet Finger


The Manual's Editorial Staff

Last full review/revision Nov 2020| Content last modified Nov 2020
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What is mallet finger?

Mallet finger is a bent fingertip that won't straighten.

It happens after an injury tears the tendon on the top of your finger. Tendons are tissue that connect a muscle to a bone.

  • The torn tendon makes your fingertip droop

  • Mallet finger usually happens when you jam your finger, such as by catching a ball

  • A splint that holds your fingertip straight may let the tendon heal

  • Sometimes the tendon doesn't heal and your fingertip stays bent

Sometimes the injury also cracks the bottom of the bone in your fingertip.

Mallet Finger

Mallet Finger

What are the symptoms of mallet finger?

Your finger is:

  • Bent at the end joint

  • A little painful

How do doctors tell if I have mallet finger?

Doctors can usually tell by examining your finger. They may also check for a fracture by doing:

How do doctors treat mallet finger?

Doctors straighten the finger and have you wear a splint that keeps the finger bent slightly upward. You will wear the splint for 6 to 8 weeks.

If your fingertip bone is broken, your doctor may do surgery.

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