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HealthInfo Waitaha Canterbury

Gradual removal of a mallet splint

Āta tangohanga o te tākai matimati

When you've worn a mallet splint to treat your mallet finger for six weeks, you can start to remove it. But even after six weeks, your tendon will not be fully healed. You'll need to remove the mallet splint gradually.

Week 1

Remove the splint at mealtimes and before bed. Each time do 10 fist movements by making a fist then opening your hand until it's fully straight. Then replace the splint.

Week 2

If your finger is not drooping when you remove the splint, remove it for one hour in the morning and one hour in the evening. Use your hand and finger normally for lighter everyday activities for the next three days.

Do not use your hand for heavy activities and be careful not to knock your finger. If you aren't sure what you can and cannot do, ask your hand therapist.

If your finger still doesn't droop after three days, remove the splint for two hours morning and evening for the rest of the week.

Weeks 3 to 6

Use your hand normally and only wear the splint at night. At the end of week six, you can stop using the splint.

If your finger starts to droop again, start wearing the splint again and contact your hand therapist. You might have to wear the splint full time again for two weeks, then restart gradually removing it.

Written by Orthopaedic Outpatients and Physiotherapy Departments, Christchurch Hospital. Adapted by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Last reviewed June 2022.


Page reference: 33074

Review key: HIWAH-240323