What is Hammer Finger?
Hammer finger, also calledbaseball finger, which is seen among common sports injuries, occurs as a result of hard blows and traumas to the fingers of the hand. Most hammer toe injuries, which have symptoms such as inability to straighten the fingertip, swelling, pain, and redness, can be treated without surgery.
In this ailment, which has a long treatment process with a splint, surgery can also be performed if necessary. If left untreated, it can cause problems such as hardening of the finger and inability to bend. Untreated hammertoe in children can cause the finger to remain small and not grow properly.
They are deformities that occur as a result of injury to the thin tendon that straightens the end joint of a finger or thumb. As a result of injury, the tendon can tear or separate from the finger bone. The separation of a piece of bone is also called an avulsion fracture.
It is a disease with painful, progressive symptoms and causes joint changes. It is among the most common sports injuries. And it can affect any finger. Most hammertoe injuries affect the dominant hand.
Why It Happen?
It can cause trauma such as hitting something hard on the finger or getting the fingertip stuck in the door.
What Are The Hammer Finger Symptoms?
Hammer finger symptoms on the hand can be listed as follows:
- Inability to straighten the fingertip
- Separation of the nail
- Redness under the nail bed
- A bruise usually occurs on the finger. Fingertip droops noticeably and only straightens when pushed up with the other hand
How Is I Diagnosed?
After a physical examination by the doctor, x-rays are usually ordered to make a diagnosis. In rare cases, additional imaging information such as ultrasound or MRI may be requested.
X-ray is important to see the extent of the injury. This will show up on an X-ray if part of the distal phalanx was pulled when the tendon was torn, or if there is a larger fracture in the bone. X-rays can also show whether the injury pulls the joint bones out of alignment.
How Is The Treatment Applied?
In untreated cases, it causes hardening and deformation of the fingertip. Most of these injuries can be treated without surgery. However, it should be followed closely, especially in children. Thus, when children grow up, problems such as stunting or deformity in their fingers are prevented.
First, when the injury occurs, an ice pack is wrapped in a towel and placed on the finger. Keeping the injured finger at heart level helps reduce swelling and pain. Painkillers can be used when necessary.
In long-term treatment, the fingertip must be placed in a splint to restore function to the finger and the tendon must remain in the splint for at least six weeks while it heals.
Using the splint for a long time can cause skin irritation. For this reason, care should be taken to follow the recommendations of the specialist physician.
If the hammertoe injury is more complex, the surgeon may need to surgically insert a small needle into the finger to keep the joint straight while the joint heals.
Surgery for hammer toe is rarely used. However, if there is a large piece of fracture, or if the joint is misaligned, i.e. out of line, or there are bone fragments that result in an unstable joint, this injury is considered “complex” and may require surgery.
In these cases, surgery is performed to repair the fracture, using pins to hold the bone fragments together while the injury heals. For this type of surgery, your surgeon may make a small incision in your skin.