How To Fix A Mallet Finger: Safety Guide
Accidents can happen anytime. And some tasks or activities could cause you injuries. When working on your wood carving task, there are moments when you get injured no matter how much you tried to be careful while doing your crafts. One possibility is having a mallet finger. So, if you are into a wood carving business or it is part of your hobby, you must learn how to fix mallet finger. The condition can be corrected with the proper application of medical remedies.
What is a Mallet Finger
Mallet finger is a type of injury on your finger that causes it to bend inward to your palm. This occurs when the tendon that connects your muscles to the finger is torn or stretched. This means you won't be able to make it straight, and it won’t recover on its own. Hence, the reason why you should learn how to fix mallet finger.
How Does A Mallet Finger Happen
- There is a damaged tendon but no fractures.
- There is a raptured tendon with a small fracture.
- The tendons rapture with large rapture.
When a person has a mallet finger, they can still use their hands, but it can be painful every time the affected part is hit. When you have a mallet finger, there will be pain, tenderness, and swelling on the outer part right after the injury. The redness of the area can also be noticed.
Remedy and Care of Mallet Finger
- The Use of Splint
People who know how to fix mallet finger usually use a splint to keep the finger straight. This also one way to support and immobilize it. You can wear the splint for 4 to 6 weeks straight if there is no fracture, and the tendon is only stretch. It should become normal on the 6th week. If the tendon is pulled off from the bone, it should heal in 8 weeks. Right after the 6th or 8th weeks, you need to wear back your splint every night to avoid further injury for four weeks. You can remove it during the daytime, but be careful not to hit it with other objects. When making a splint, you can use hard plastic, a flat smooth stick, or a metal. When wearing it, you have to make sure it is fit. Do not tie it to your finger too tight that can cause the blood flow to cut. You will know its too tight when your finger turns white.
- Cleaning and Wearing of Splint
You need to remove the splint once in a while to clean it. When doing so, you have to be very careful not to bend your finger. You have to keep it straight the whole time it is off from your finger. When you take a shower, you have to cover it with a plastic bag. If it gets wet, you have to dry it immediately after you shower.
- When There is Pain
When you feel that the pain is intolerable, you can take a pain reliever. You may ask recommendations from your health care provider to avoid complications, especially if you have other health conditions. Also, one way for you to relieve the pain is by the use of an ice pack. Apply it for 20 minutes for every hour that you are awake for the first two days. Then you can apply it for 10 to 20 minutes three times a day if necessary or when you feel too much pain.
When is it time to call a Doctor?
Mallet finger would not heal on its own. But if you know how to fix mallet finger, you can apply the technique. However, there are cases where you need to seek the attention of a medical specialist:
- When at the end of the treatment, the finger is still swollen and reddish
- It develops numbness on the affected area or the whole finger.
- When the skin color of your finger changes color or darkens.
- The pain gets worst while you are on treatment.
When the mallet finger is already complicated, your doctor may require surgery. That is when the joint is not properly aligned, or when tendon needs drafting on the tissues. The doctor can determine the complications by looking at your X-ray results. When you undergo surgery, the specialist will insert hardware to keep your finger straight. This would include a pin, screw, wire, or plate. The doctor usually advises for its removal once the tendon is healed.
Mallet finger is a common injury, especially if you are a wood artisan. It can also happen to athletes. So, be very careful when working with tools to prevent any injuries. You must also know the first aid appropriate for the injury and learn how to fix mallet finger. Remember to seek medical help when the pain is not tolerable.
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