A review of mallet finger and jersey finger injuries in the athlete

  • Abdo Bachoura
  • Alex J. Ferikes
  • John D. Lubahn
Hand and Wrist Sports Medicine (E Tolo and L Dwyer, section editors)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Hand and Wrist Sports Medicine


Purpose of review

The purposes of this review are to discuss the diagnosis and management of mallet and jersey finger injuries in athletes and to highlight how treatment impacts return to play.

Recent findings

Mallet finger: although numerous non-operative and operative techniques have been described, there continues to be little consensus regarding the optimal procedure. Jersey finger: ultrasound appears to be a cost-effective imaging modality that may be useful for preoperative planning. Wide-awake surgery offers optimal intraoperative assessment of the tendon repair. Tendon repair with volar plate augmentation has been shown to improve the strength of the repair in the laboratory, and early clinical results are encouraging.


Most mallet finger injuries will heal with non-operative treatment over a period of 8–12 weeks, even when treatment is delayed up to 3–4 months. An acute diagnosis of jersey finger requires surgical treatment and generally means 8–12 weeks of inability to compete in most contact sports.


Athlete Distal phalanx Jersey finger Mallet finger Tendon avulsion 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and animal rights and informed consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Abdo Bachoura
    • 1
  • Alex J. Ferikes
    • 1
  • John D. Lubahn
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) HamotErieUSA
  2. 2.Hand, Microsurgery and Reconstructive OrthopaedicsErieUSA

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