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Mallet finger is a bent fingertip. It is caused by a fractured bone or torn tendon at the base of the finger joint near the fingertip. The injury can happen when your child's finger is bent with force, such as when trying to catch a ball and the fingertip is struck by the ball. It also is called baseball finger or drop finger.
Treatment includes wearing a splint for several weeks to keep the finger straight. Surgery may be needed if pieces of bone break off during the injury or if treatment with the splint does not work. Usually only a splint is needed.
It is very important for your child to wear and take care of the splint exactly as your doctor says so that the finger heals properly and is no longer bent. Wearing a splint may interfere with your child's normal activities. Have your child ask for help with daily tasks if needed.
Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if your child is having problems. It's also a good idea to know your child's test results and keep a list of the medicines your child takes.
Call your doctor or nurse advice line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your child's health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse advice line if:
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Current as of: November 9, 2022
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.
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