We are currently embarking on research of patients who have sustained a tendinous mallet finger injury (ie: with no distal phalanx avulsion fracture) and assessing their outcome in a formalised manner. We are asking Drs and surgeons to look out for these patients and appreciate your referral of them to Specialised Hand Therapy Services.
Literature has suggested that mallet injuries can progress to a chronic swan neck deformity if not managed correctly. This occurs due to an imbalance of the extensor mechanism, caused by the initial rupture of the terminal extensor tendon. This imbalance may also be the cause of poorer outcomes with a less than optimal correction of extensor lag for some patients post the immobilisation period. Commonly, hand therapists see patients who develop a swan neck deformity or extensor lags, despite compliance with 6-8 weeks of full time splinting. Our interest is in determining whether the inclusion of a PIPJ extension block, in addition to the usual mallet splint, will positively influence the outcomes of these patients, both in prevention of swan neck deformity and also in reduction of DIP extensor lag post cessation of splinting.