The injury occurs primarily in football and other contact sports (eg, rugby). The ring finger is the most injured (75% of cases).
(See also Mallet Finger Mallet Finger Mallet finger is a flexion deformity of the fingertip caused by avulsion of the extensor tendon, with or without fracture, from the proximal end of the distal phalanx. (See also Overview of... read more .)
Etiology of Jersey Finger
Flexion of the hand digits is controlled by the flexor digitorum profundus (FDP) and flexor digitorum superficialis (FDS). The FDP inserts on the distal phalanx and flexes the distal interphalangeal (DIP) joint.
The most classical mechanism of FDP avulsion is that an athlete grips the jersey or shirt of a second athlete, catching the flexed finger, which gets extended forcefully as the second athlete suddenly moves away, rupturing the tendon.
FDP avulsion can avulse a bone fragment.
Symptoms and Signs of Jersey Finger
The injured athlete cannot actively flex the distal interphalangeal (DIP) joint. Palpation of the volar/palmar surface of the fingertip is painful. The affected finger rests in slight extension.
Diagnosis of Jersey Finger
X-rays are needed to rule out an avulsion fracture of the distal phalanx. Active flexion of the affected distal interphalangeal (DIP) joint must be done or the diagnosis can be easily missed.
Pearls & Pitfalls
Treatment of Jersey Finger
The treatment of choice is surgical repair done by a hand specialist.
Jersey finger occurs in contact sports such as football and rugby.
To avoid missing the injury, test active distal interphalangeal (DIP) joint flexion of the involved finger.
Refer affected patients to a hand specialist for surgical repair.