What is mallet finger?
Mallet finger, otherwise known as baseball finger, is a common athletic injury. The injury occurs when the outermost joint of the finger sustains impact or jams; the tendon on the back of the finger is separated from the connecting muscle. Basketball, cricket and baseball players are prolific sufferers, but the injury can also be experienced through a crushing accident or even a cut finger.
- Pain at the outermost joint
- Inability to straighten the finger
The tendon at the back of the finger is separated from the muscle. Three types of injuries commonly take place: the tendon is damaged, but no fractures occur; the tendon ruptures with a small fracture; the tendon ruptures with a significant fracture.
Mallet finger treatment typically includes:
- Ice/cold therapy (Physicool) to relieve the pain and swelling
- Application of a splint
Protection, rest, ice, compression and elevation (PRICE) is one of the most recommended approaches for the management of mallet finger. The aim is to minimize hemorrhage, swelling, inflammation and finger pain, to provide the best conditions for healing to take place.
- Protection – protect the injured area from further injury – using a support bandage if appropriate
- Rest – stop the activity that caused the injury, and rest the injured joint or muscle. Avoid activity for the first 48 to 72 hours after injury
- Ice – for the first 48 to 72 hours after the injury, apply a cooling therapy like Physicool
- Compression – compress or bandage the injured area to limit any swelling and movement that could damage it further
- Elevation – keep the injured area raised and supported on a pillow to help reduce swelling
Physicool provides the key stages of PRICE in a single reusable bandage, providing protection, cooling and compression for the finger to help the healing process. A Physicool bandage can be applied to the injury and the cooling effect recharged by spraying Physicool Coolant directly onto the bandage whilst it is in position.
Physicool is a unique cotton bandage impregnated with a patented liquid which draws heat away from the affected tissues by rapid evaporation. While the deep tissues are being cooled, the simultaneous compression effects of Physicool modify the inflammatory response to soft tissue damage which helps promote healing.