Mallet Finger

Mallet Finger

Mechanism: Forceful flexion of distal phalanx results in disruption of extensor apparatus. Patients often present with a flexor deformity.

Pathophysiology: This is classified as a type of zone 1 injury involving the DIP joint.

4 Types: Type 1: closed without fracture

Type 2: Open tendon laceration without fracture

Type 3: Open tendon injury with disruption of

subcutaneous tissue

Type 4: Open with fracture of base of distal phalanx

Management:  Type 1 can be splinted in extension for 6 weeks (with dorsal aluminum splint).  Type 2-3 the tendon and overlying skin should be repaired with a figure of 8 stich or a baseball stitch then splinted in extension for 6-8 weeks. Type 4 likely needs orthopedics for operative intervention.




By James Heilman, MD (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 ( or GFDL (], via Wikimedia Commons



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