Mallet finger, also known as baseball finger, happens when the tendon on top of the hand that straightens the finger (extensor tendon) sustains an injury, stopping the finger from straightening all the way and causing the tip to droop. Usually the injury happens when something strikes the tip of the finger, and sometimes a small fracture is evident as well. The long, ring, and small fingers of a person's dominant hand are most likely to be injured.

Diagnosing Mallet Finger

Physical Exam

Your physician will ask you a series of questions and is likely to do a physical exam. The physical exam will including examining any specific areas of concern, especially as they relate to the reason for your visit to the office.


A form of electromagnetic radiation with very high frequency and energy. X-rays are used to examine and make images of things such as the bones and organs inside the body.

Treatments for Mallet Finger

Bracing/Splinting A splint, also known as a brace, is a rigid device that holds a body part in place so that it is unable to move. It is usually used as a treatment for a suspected fracture, sprain/ligament damage, or other injury. It can be applied by first responders in the event of trauma. Splints can reduce pain, aid in proper healing, and can also prevent further injury. They can be worn for several days or weeks to hold the body part in place for the duration of healing time.

Surgery for Mallet Finger

It is not common to treat a mallet finger surgically, unless bone fragments or fractures are present. If that is the case, surgery is done to repair the fracture using pins to hold the pieces of bone together while the injury heals. Surgical treatment of the damaged tendon usually requires a tendon graft, where tendon tissue is taken (harvested) from another part of the body or, even fusing the joint straight.

Departments and Programs Who Treat This Condition


Orthopedic Surgery

The Department of Orthopedic Surgery offers orthopedic services from head to toe for acute injuries, as well as chronic conditions of the musculoskeletal system, to help you get b…