Donald R. Pratt


Mallet finger is a permanent deformity caused by injury to the distal phalanx of a finger. Commonly seen in industrial accidents and in baseball players, the extending tendon is pulled off the bone of the terminal phalanx. Treatment consists of simple splinting (illustrated) in mild trauma, or surgical intervention when large bony fragments have been pulled off. If left untreated, some degree of drop finger ultimately develops. This disability varies in degree. Joint stiffness and deformity may result. A method of surgical treat- ment of more severe injuries is described.The chief importance of this injury, to the lawyer, is in Workmen's Compensation cases. Understanding of its nature and long- range effects is needed in estimating the proper amount of com- pensation award.