Baseball Finger Injuries Can Be Treated by the Orthopedic Specialists at Tahoe Fracture & Orthopedic Medical Clinic’s Reno, NV, Location
A baseball finger injury (also referred to as a mallet finger, hammer finger, or drop finger injury) is a painful and debilitating condition. Fortunately, the orthopedic specialists at Tahoe Fracture & Orthopedic Medical Clinic’s Reno, Nevada, location have experience treating baseball finger injuries, and can help set you on the road to recovery.
A baseball finger injury occurs when an object strikes an actively extended fingertip, forcing the fingertip to involuntarily flex. For example, this may occur when a baseball player has his fingers extended out straight in anticipation of catching the ball, and the ball strikes the tip of his finger, forcing the fingertip to bend forward. The force can cause a baseball finger injury in two different ways: it can tear the extensor tendon, which runs along the back of the finger and helps to extend the finger (referred to as a tendinous mallet finger injury), or it can fracture the fingertip bone, causing the fractured section to pull away from the remaining bone along with the extensor tendon (referred to as an avulsion injury or a bony mallet finger injury). In either case, the force separates the far end of the extensor tendon from the fingertip, causing the fingertip to droop.
Patients who have sustained a baseball finger injury generally experience the following symptoms:
- Drooping fingertip
- Inability to extend the finger
- Bleeding beneath the fingernail bed (in some cases)
- Detached fingernail (in some cases)
The orthopedic specialists at our Reno, NV, location generally recommend that patients experiencing a baseball finger injury first attempt nonsurgical treatment, which usually consists of splinting the injured finger for approximately eight weeks. Patients who pursue this course of treatment must be careful to never allow the injured fingertip to flex during this period, including when they are applying a new splint, so as to not disrupt the healing process. Following this period, patients may need to continue nighttime splinting for an additional three to four weeks.
In certain cases, such as where the baseball finger injury involves an extensive fracture or where the fingertip joint is misaligned, the patient may require surgery to repair the injury. In those cases, the surgeon could potentially tighten the extensor tendon, perform a tendon graft, fuse the fingertip joint straight, or insert pins to hold the bones together.
If you suspect that you’ve sustained a baseball finger injury in the Reno, NV, area and are experiencing any of the above symptoms, particularly a drooping fingertip, please contact Tahoe Fracture & Orthopedic Medical Clinic as soon as possible to schedule an appointment. We look forward to helping you restore your fingertip mobility and function.