Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Hand FAQ

Question:

My son hurt his finger playing football. The doctor said it was mallet finger and he applied a splint. My son takes it off a lot, saying it bugs him and he says the doctor won't be able to tell. How can I convince him that he needs to wear the splint?

Answer:

While it's true that the doctor won't be able to see how often your didn't wear his splint, it will be obvious by the slow healing or misalignment, that your son didn't wear the splint consistently. Wearing a splint on your finger is not comfortable, but the treatment period will not be as long and it will be more effective if the all the recommendations are followed, particularly the constant wearing of the splint. Jeffrey Pike, MD, et al. Blinded, Prospective, Randomized Clinical trial Comparing Volar, Dorsal, and Custom Thermoplastic Splinting in Treatment of Acute Mallet Finger. In Journal of Hand Surgery. April 2010. Vol. 35. No. 4. Pp. 580-588.

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