Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Hand FAQ

Question:

I broke the tip of my index finger trying to poke a hole in some ice. The doctor said it was an unusual cause of a mallet finger fracture. What's the usual cause?

Answer:

Sports! A mallet finger fracture of the tip of any finger usually occurs during a sporting activity. It's so common in baseball it is often called baseball finger.

The cause is usually catching a ball wrong. The tip of the finger is forced suddenly into flexion. The extensor tendon and a small piece of bone pull away from the joint. Without the tendon to extend the tip of the finger, it stays in a bent position. The finger looks like a mallet, thus the name.

David M. Kalainov, MD, et al. Nonsurgical Treatment of Closed Mallet Finger Fractures. In The Journal of Hand Surgery. May 2005. Vol. 30A. No. 3. Pp. 580-586.

*Disclaimer:* The information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read in this topic.
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