Millions of children and teens participate in sports. It can be a great way to teach teamwork and responsibility, but playing often results in injury. Two of the most common injuries are Mallet finger and Jersey finger. One occurs often with baseball players, and the other gets its name from football. Jersey finger vs. Mallet finger. It’s not only the source of their name that’s different. The symptoms and treatment have their differences as well. Continue reading to learn more.

What Is Jersey Finger?

This is a condition that affects the tendon of the finger. It occurs most commonly in those who play sports such as rugby and football. The player grabs their opponent’s jersey. When the opponent jerks away, it puts pressure on the finger.


Jersey finger begins at the tip of the player’s finger. The tendon is stretched out before snapping back into place. It’s sort of like when you pull a hair tie or rubber band. It will cause your fingertip to become red and swollen. You may feel pain in the base of your palm. Right below the affected finger. When diagnosing your injury, your doctor will attempt to get you to move the tip of your finger. If you can’t get it to budge, there’s a good chance you have Jersey finger.

Jersey Finger Injury Treatment

In most instances, surgery is recommended to treat Jersey finger injuries. First, the surgeon will find the tendon. From there, they’ll thread it through the finger and secure it back in its proper place by drilling small holes in the bone.

What Is Mallet Finger?

Mallet finger affects the tendon that straightens out your finger or thumb. It’s a common injury that baseball players face. If the ball hits the tip of your outstretched finger, it will cause the tendon to detach itself from the bone.


Like Jersey finger, this condition will cause your finger to appear bruised and swollen. You’ll have issues being able to stretch it out without experiencing severe pain. You may also notice redness under your fingernail bed. Depending on the severity of your injury, the fingernail may detach itself completely.

Mallet Finger Injury Treatment

The most common fix for Mallet finger is a splint. You’ll have to wear it for about six weeks. Until the injury heals, you’ll have to avoid performing strenuous activity. While surgery for Mallet finger is rare, it does happen. Your doctor will refer you to an orthopedic surgeon who can place a pin in your finger to keep it straight until the tendon heals.

Jersey Finger Vs. Mallet Finger: Understanding the Differences

Jersey finger vs. Mallet finger. As you can see, they have their similarities and differences. They’re both sports injuries that can cause a great deal of pain and swelling. Surgery for Mallet finger is rare, but when it comes to Jersey finger, failing to get surgery could mean losing the ability to move the tip of your finger. Are you not sure if you have Jersey finger or Mallet finger? At Idaho Shoulder 2 Hand, we specialize in hand and wrist injuries. Go here to make an appointment today.