Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Hand FAQ

Question:

Ok, what's the difference between the diagnoses of a trigger finger and a mallet finger? Why are they given these names?

Answer:

The trigger finger and the mallet finger are both problems that involve not being able to straighten out the affected finger. The names reflect what the finger looks like. With a trigger finger, rings of body tissue that form a tunnel for the tendon to your finger become inflamed or thick. Because they are larger than they should be, the tendon can't slide through the rings easily and it catches, making a snapping or catching sensation. The finger could become locked in the bent "trigger" position. With a mallet finger, the tip of the finger is hit by something hard, most often a ball. This results in the joint closest to the tip of the finger being injured and, perhaps, the tendon pulling away from the bone. The finger then bends at that joint and needs to be straightened out. 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.

*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.
All content provided by eORTHOPOD® is a registered trademark of Medical Multimedia Group, L.L.C.. Content is the sole property of Medical Multimedia Group, LLC and used herein by permission.

Our Specialties

Where Does It Hurt?

Our Locations

  Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow us on YouTube
Follow us on Twitter