Mallet Finger Injury- Do I have to start treatment over again?

Posted , 4 users are following.

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?

0 likes, 4 replies

Report / Delete

4 Replies

  • Posted

    Amethystia, I had the same problem with my left thumb 'triggering' about 18 months ago.  I went to the walk-in centre and they advising splinting but didn't have the splints!  I then spoke to a rheumatologist during a meeting one day who said that if he'd had his needles with him he would have injected it on the spot.  When I saw my lovely pharmacist, he chuckled and said it would get better on it's own - both he and his brother had experienced exactly the same.  Sure enough it did get better on its own, but it took several months.

    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. 

    Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    Last year I had atraumatic mallet finger, i.e. It was not the result of an injury. An X-ray confirmed that there was no injury. The GP told me to wear a splint for 4 - 6 weeks. Like you I thought it would be wrong to remove the splint before the end of 6 weeks in case my finger had not healed. 

    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.


    Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    I have never heard of mallet thumb or finger.  Is it the same as trigger thumb?  If so, there is a very simple surgery called tendon release and it is almost always successful without any recurrence.  It is often done under local anaesthetic but when I had mine done, it had been left too long so I had an general.  It may be worth you enquiring about this.  The relief afterwards is immediate.  Hope you get sorted soon.
    Report / Delete Reply

Join this discussion or start a new one?

New discussion Reply

Report or request deletion

Thanks for your help!

We want the forums to be a useful resource for our users but it is important to remember that the forums are not moderated or reviewed by doctors and so you should not rely on opinions or advice given by other users in respect of any healthcare matters. Always speak to your doctor before acting and in cases of emergency seek appropriate medical assistance immediately. Use of the forums is subject to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy and steps will be taken to remove posts identified as being in breach of those terms.

newnav-down newnav-up