Mallet finger is an injury to the end joint of the finger that causes it to bend inwards towards the palm. You won’t be able to straighten the finger because the thin tendon that connects the muscle to the finger bone has been either stretched or torn. The finger will also be swollen and painful. This is quite a common sports injury, especially where a ball forces the finger joint to bend further than it is intended to go. It can also be caused by a minor injury, such as catching the finger on clothing or bedding. This is why it is also known as ‘housewife’s finger’! If you think you may have this problem, ice it immediately and keep your hand raised, i.e. above heart level, until a doctor can see you – this helps to reduce any swelling. You can take an over-the-counter painkiller for the pain. Most mallet finger injuries are treated with splinting and will take between 6 and 12 weeks to heal.