Boutonniere Deformity

mallet-bout-swanA Boutonniere Deformity is a common hand injury that occurs as a result of jamming one or more fingers forcefully. A common injury occurring in sports such as basketball, baseball, softball, or volleyball, the tip of the digit is forcefully hyperextended by a ball or outside force. As a result, the delicate extensor tendons on top of the finger suffer a tear in a component called the central slip as the middle knuckle (PIP joint) is forced into flexion (bending).

Commonly, no medical attention is sought for these injuries as they often appear to only be sore and swollen joints. However, if left untreated over time, a deformity will begin to occur where the middle knuckle (PIP) stays in a pattern of extreme flexion permanently. The best treatment in preventing a Boutonniere Deformity is prompt medical care.

This problem can usually be corrected with a comprehensive hand therapy program where specific exercises and treatments to correct the condition can be utilized and splinting can be provided as needed.

Medical Illustration From The Merck Manual of Medical Information – Second Home Edition, edited by Robert S. Porter. Copyright 2008 by Merck & Co., Inc., Whitehouse Station, NJ. Available at: Accessed 12/5/08.

MEDICAL DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this website is intended for informational and educational purposes only. You should always with your physician for the diagnosis and treatment of any injury or condition. The content on this web site is general in nature and not complete, and it should never be used for diagnostic or treatment purposes.

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