Finger Injuries in Sport:

Finger injuries are quite common in sporting clubs and during the season. It has been reported that injuries of the hand account for approximately ~25% of sports-related injuries (Viola A. Stögner et al,., 2020). 

Below are some common finger injuries that may be seen in some sports. 

  • Mallet Finger:
  • Mallet finger occurs due to avulsion fractures or ruptures of the distal common extensor. This causes an inability to extend the finger giving a DIP flexion. 
  • Mallet finger usually occurs due to a forced flexion movement to the finger. 
  • A split is typically worn for 6-8 weeks. 
  • The split will hold the finger into extension to allow the two ends of the tendon to come together. 
  • Jersey Finger:
  • Jersey finger occurs due to an avulsion of the flexor digitorum profundus from the DIP. 
  • A forceful extension while contracting the FDP leads to avulsion of the tendon. 
  • An injury of this kind presents an inability to flex the DIP joint actively and is painful with grip and flexion against resistance. 
  • Furthermore, the finger stays in a bit more extension in comparison to the other digits. 
  • A splint can be used if the flexor tendon has not been completely torn / ruptured. 
  • Surgery is the primary management course for Jersey finger and should be able to return back to sport within 8-12 weeks with rehabilitation. 
  • Volar plate injury:
  • A volar plate injury can occur when the finger is forcefully bent back into extension at the PIP. 
  • This can cause a sprain / rupture of the volar plate.
  • The volar plate sits at the proximal interphalangeal joint (differs to mallet finger due to location of the injury). 
  • Conservative management includes the use of a splint in 30deg of PIP flexion to allow the ends of the volar plate to come together and heal. 
  • Central slip (Boutonniere deformity):
  • The central slip helps keep the extensor tendon in place at the PIP. 
  • When there is an injury to the central slip, the central slip is injured and no longer keeps the extensor tendon over the PIP and therefore takes a short cut to the outside part of the finger. This causes flexion at the PIP and extension at the DIP. 
  • Conservative management includes an extension splint for the PIP and a possible flexion splint at the DIP to regain normal mobility.