What causes mallet finger?

Mallet finger results from either a fracture or rupture of the extensor tendon, resulting in the inability to straighten the tip of your finger. It usually occurs when the tip of the finger is forced to bend, and occurs with ball sports, as well as incidental activities.

What are the symptoms?

Loss of extension of the last joint of the finger.  You should be able to push the finger out straight with your other hand, but won’t be able to hold it straight using muscles alone.

How is mallet finger treated?

Education, splinting, skin care and exercises are required for a period of 6 to 8 weeks to ensure optimal results.


The splint needs to be worn full time for 6-8weeks. There are different types of splints made from different materials. Your therapist will advise which splint is appropriate for you and custom make one to fit you appropriately. It is important to maintain extension of the end joint at all times even when removing the splint for hygiene/skin checks. The splint may need regular adjustment to accommodate changes in swelling.

Your hand therapist will create a unique treatment plan to address and help relieve your current symptoms. The goal is always to both give you relief from any pain and discomfort, create optimal conditions for the tissues to recover, and then teach you how to put the right measures in place to reduce the likelihood of your condition recurring.