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Should you be concerned about the Daniel Murphy finger injury?

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Rockies’ first baseman Daniel Murphy injured his left index finger on Friday night’s game against the Marlins. X-rays demonstrated a “mallet finger” fracture. He is going to see a hand specialist in Scottsdale for further evaluation.

 

Mallet finger is a common term for an avulsion injury to the extensor tendon from the last joint of the finger. This is the tendon that makes the finger straighten. Mallet fingers can involve a purely tendon injury or may have a piece of bone that can be broke off as well, which appears to be the case for Daniel Murphy.

 

The vast majority of these injuries can be treated without surgery. This involved a full time splint for 6 weeks that keeps the joint straight and bone aligned. Most MLB players are out for 6 weeks with a protective splint while playing after.

 

Another option is surgery if the bone is far out of place even in a splint. This would allow for the bone to be stabilizing with wires to get better alignment. Return to play is still a minimum of 6 weeks even with surgery.

 

 

Amar A. Patel, MD is an orthopaedic surgeon with a special interest in hand, elbow, and shoulder surgery. He graduated from the Pennsylvania State University and obtained his medical degree from Thomas Jefferson University. He completed his orthopaedic surgery residency at the University of Miami/ Jackson Memorial Hospital, where he learned advances techniques in traumatic and sports- related injuries. He completed advanced training in hand and upper extremity surgery at the Indiana Hand to Shoulder Center. Dr. Patel currently practices at the Orthopaedic Associates of Riverside in Chicago, Illinois. He is an avid sports fan and has been a fantasy sports participant for over 15 years.

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