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HOW TO Apply and Remove a MALLET FINGER SPlint

One of the most important and often confusing topics regarding a mallet finger, a common hand injury, is how to apply and remove your mallet finger splint without bending your finger.

Watch this video to learn MORE!

The way to get the best outcome for your mallet finger injury is:

1. Make sure you are splinted correctly for the type of mallet finger that you have.

2. Make sure you are only removing your mallet finger splint when you absolutely have to!  

You do not want to remove the splint more than necessary because you’re more likely to bend your finger and undo all of the healing that has occurred in your splint.

Mallet finger injury

There are several types of mallet finger splints.

Your doctor or hand therapist will give you options.  There is custom made splints that fit over the bottom and the top of the finger. 

There are plastic splints and cast splints, and then there are more aluminum ones that have a little bit of foam on the inside. 

Finally, there are also splints that fit more like a ring.

No matter the type or style of splint, what's important to understand is how to apply and remove the mallet finger splint without bending your finger AT ALL.

mallet thumb

The best way to protect that finger from bending is to use your thumb as shown here.

To remove a mallet finger splint, slowly slide the splint off, while placing your thumb tip to tip with your mallet finger. This will ensure you have kept the fingertip straight. DO NOT let your finger go unsupported!

mallet thumb palm up

How to apply a mallet finger splint can be challenging depending on your splint style.

One of the easiest ways to apply a mallet splint for you may be to turn your hand palm up. This can allow gravity to help plus it may be more comfortable for you.

Make sure when you are applying your splint you are not cramming the tip of your finger joint into your splint. You could unintentionally bend your finger tip. This is particularly important for splints that have both a top and bottom or are  circumferentially made around the whole finger. 

A splint that only covers the bottom of the finger can be easier to place your finger in and out of however with these type of minimal splints you still have to fumble with the tape or band aids to get the splint to stay on.

One of the disadvantages of using tape is it can be sensitive to the skin. Instead, try to use something delicate such as paper tape OR Band-Aids.

Mallet finger splint

To do this, simply cut the Band-Aid long ways, making 2 smaller Band-Aids. Then you are actually using the softer part of the Band-Aid over your skin and then the sticky part is more on the splint.  Just make sure you have all your materials prepared first before you take the splint off. You don’t want to risk bending your finger fumbling with tape.

If this is difficult to understand, I highly recommend to watch the video at the top of this post or here, in which I demonstrate how to apply and remove a variety of mallet finger splints.

Remember, learning how to get in and out of your splint correctly is so important so that you don’t undo any of the healing that has occurred while in your mallet finger splint.

Because heaven forbid you remove the splint and your finger bends, well then, you’re back to square one. And 6 more weeks of splinting is typically added. I don’t want to see that happen to you.

TIP takeaways

>> Make sure you are always protecting your finger tip by keeping it straight whenever you apply or remove your splints.

>> Remember the more you remove your splint the more likely you are to bend your finger. This can greatly affect whether your finger will be straight or have a permanent droop.

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