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J Hand Surg Am. 1994 Sep;19(5):850-2.

Mallet finger: results of early versus delayed closed treatment.

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Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Millard Fillmore Hospital, Buffalo, NY.


The efficacy of continuous splinting was retrospectively compared in two populations of 40 patients with soft tissue and bony mallet finger whose treatment was initiated within 2 weeks after injury (early) or more than 4 weeks after trauma (delayed). Splint treatment was successful in restoring active extension (with no more than 10 degrees extensor lag) in 17 of 21 patients in the early group and 15 of 19 patients in the delayed group. Neither the presence or absence of dorsal lip fracture less than one third of the articular surface of the distal phalanx nor the type of splint used affected the final outcome. Splinting was as effective in the delayed treatment population as it was in the early treatment population.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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