This week marked my 11th week in treatment for my mallet finger. Almost three months caring for this injury. 9 weeks in a cast. About 9 days in a splint 24/7. One week in a splint most of the day, taking it off 5X a day for an hour.
This morning was my third had rehab appointment since the cast came off. They also did the casting so I had two previous visits with them.
Typically, I go in, they make me bend my fingers and they measure everything, tell me the following week’s directions and send me on my way.
Today I went in, the had me heat my hand for 15 minutes and then I got a finger massage. The therapist measured my finger and made me a new night-time splint and told me I no longer need to wear the splint during the day.
Because I do so much work with my hands, if it starts to droop or just bothers me, I can splint it here and there for an hour.
I have another appointment with my hand surgeon July 27, so although the general guidelines say I only have to splint at night for 2 more weeks, it is recommended that I wear it until I see my specialist.
Other wisdom from my therapist as we chatted today:
- Completely immobilizing a mallet finger for six weeks is the minimum in his opinion.
- The finger can continue healing for an additional six months after splinting is complete. He recommends using individual judgment and awareness of the finger to decide how long to splint at night.
- Massage the finger, especially the joints for five minutes several times a day.
- Understand that the finger may never resume its former shape/posture/movement but that the end of the finger itself doesn’t have that big of a role in hand function.
- Keep bending the fingers several times a day, gradually working into a fist.