The tip of your finger is drooping (Mallet Finger) because either the tendon which straightens the end of your finger has snapped or a small piece of bone where this tendon attaches has broken off.
In order for your finger to heal a splint has been provided to support the tip of your finger whilst the tendon or bone heals.
You must keep this splint on continuously for 6-8 weeks (your Physiotherapist will advise you).
If the splint is removed and the finger allowed to droop during this time the tendon may snap or the healing bone fragment may be disrupted. A further period of immobilisation or surgery may then be required, and your finger tip may always have a droop.
Removal of the splint
You will need to remove the splint daily to wash your finger. Your therapist will show you how to do this.
When bathing or showering place a plastic bag over the splint to keep it dry. If your finger becomes wet inside the splint, at any time it is very important that you remove the splint as described below, dry the finger and then reapply it to prevent the skin becoming white and breaking down.
Do not let the tip of your finger droop at any time.
- With your finger flat on the table, loosen the tape and slide the splint off
- The splint can be washed in lukewarm soapy water, rinsed and dried thoroughly by another person
- Wash around the finger, keeping it fully supported, with a cloth and dry thoroughly
- Use the other hand to lift the tip of the finger back onto the splint
- Secure splint in place with tape
- Keep all unaffected joints moving
- Regularly practise bending and straightening the middle joint of your injured finger, with the splint on
- You can use the hand for light activities, but avoid heavy or repetitive work, sporting activities and making a strong fist which may encourage the tip to bend
If the finger becomes red, hot, swollen, purple, cold or excessively painful contact the Physiotherapy Department or your GP immediately. Alternatively attend the A&E Department
Please contact the Physiotherapy Department in the following events:
- If the splint is uncomfortable or loose. (Do not attempt to adapt or tamper with the splint yourself)
- If the condition of the skin under the splint deteriorates
- If you have any other problems or queries
You can contact the Physiotherapy Department on:
Telephone: 01935 384358