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Mallet Finger Surgery

Mallet Finger Surgery: Dallas Hand Surgeons Dr. David and Solomon Azouz Review Mallet Finger Deformity.

Dallas Plastic and Hand Surgeons Dr. David and Solomon Azouz review Mallet Finger Deformity: symptoms, surgical, non-surgical treatment, cost, insurance, and recovery.

What is a Mallet Finger Deformity of the finger?

Mallet finger surgery repairs the condition known as baseball finger, which usually occurs after an object strikes the tip of the finger or when a patient cuts the tendon that raises the tip of the finger. As a result, patients cannot straighten the last joint of their fingers. The injury is due to a rupture or cuts of the extensor tendon, where it attaches to the bone at the fingertip. Sometimes, a piece of bone can also be pulled away with the tendon, resulting in an avulsion fracture.

What are the symptoms of mallet finger?




Inability to straighten the top finger joint 

Redness under the fingernail bed with discoloration of the skin near the nail

When does mallet finger require surgery?

Dr. Azouz will perform a physical examination and test for mallet finger. He will also review x-ray images of the finger to check the alignment of the bones and rule out any fractures and determine if surgery is necessary.  In general mallet fingers from cuts need to be repaired with surgery.   

What are the benefits of mallet finger surgery?

Mallet finger surgery repairs the damaged tendon along with any fractures. This corrects the mallet finger deformity and improves the alignment of the bones. It allows for improved movement of the finger and regains function of the hand.  The nailbed may need to be repaired with the tendon if it is cut as well.   Patients who do not have repair of a mallet finger deformity may go on to develop a swan neck deformity with loss of function of the finger.  

How is a mallet finger surgery performed?

Dr. Azouz will repair the damaged tendon through an existing cut or by making a cut to repair the tendon. In some cases, a tendon graft will be required. Most often, the tendon can be re-attached to the bone. Any fractures will also be repaired and may require pins or screws to heal the fracture or to help the tendon heal. 

What is the anesthesia for mallet finger surgery?

Dr. Azouz uses a combination of local, sedation, and an axillary block during mallet finger repair surgery.

How long does it take to recover from mallet finger surgical procedure?

Dr. Azouz will place a finger splint after the surgery, which usually lasts 6-8 weeks. He will see his patients for routine follow-up visits in his office to check their healing progress. Hand therapy may be recommended to fully regain strength and range of motion of the finger. 

Can mallet finger surgery be combined with other procedures?

Yes, this surgery can be combined with repairing other injuries such as other tendons, arteries, or nerves that are cut, nail bed repair, or laceration repairs if there is multi-system trauma.

Mallet Finger Frequently Asked Questions

What is the cost of a mallet finger surgery?

The cost of mallet finger surgery can widely vary. Dr. Azouz will determine the surgery cost through a medical history and physical examination. Many workers’ compensation carriers consider this surgery medically necessary. 

What are the outcomes of a successful mallet finger surgery?

After surgery, the deformity is corrected, and patients are able to move their fingers normally. They will have a normal or near-normal alignment of the bones, and the damaged tendon will be repaired.  Most importantly, hand function is to be restored, and repairing a mallet finger can prevent a swan neck deformity from forming.

What are the non-surgical treatment options for mallet finger?

In minor cases, mallet finger can be treated with a splint for 6-8 weeks. However, in most cases, patients require a pin to keep the finger aligned or often surgery to repair the damaged tendon.

What’s the difference between Boutonniere’s deformity and Mallet finger?

With Boutonniere’s deformity, patients cannot straighten the middle joint of the affected finger. Whereas with a mallet finger, patients cannot straighten the top joint of their finger, which is when the tendon of the distal joint is torn.

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