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Around the beginning of October I noticed that my left thumb would not straighten. I can only imagine that I had injured my thumb playing piano. Foolishly, I ignored this injury thinking that it would get better over time. It never did straighten, so I went to a doctor around the 20th of December. I was told that I had mallet finger. They put me in a stax splint. I have worn this splint continuously for 3 weeks.
Today, after 3 weeks of wearing this splint, I had a followup appointment. The doctor insisted that I take the splint off so that he could look at it. Sure enough my finger still drooped. I was outraged at this because it was my understanding that the splint had to be worn continuously for 4-6 weeks. My thumb was allowed to bend for about half a minute. Does this mean that the healing process basically starts over? In that case I'm looking at additional 4-6 weeks again? I have another appointment in 3 weeks, which I wouldn't be surprised if he wants me to take it off again, thus preventing it from ever healing. Should I seek a second opinion?
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I'm sure you haven't done any further harm in having the splint removed today - it will get better when it is ready and not before. If you really can't bear it any longer then perhaps an injection may be the way forward.
Despite taping the splint to my finger it did sometimes come lose and slip in the shower. I was not sure whether the finger became straightened at those times. But everything I have read says that the splint must not be removed at all, even briefly.
After 6 weeks there was still a slight bend in the finger. I have been told by another GP that if I am not happy with that I should have cosmetic surgery privately.
I have been using a stress ball to exercise the finger but to little effect.
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