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An 11-year-old with mallet finger
  1. Catherine Walsh,
  2. Matthew Sills,
  3. Gerard Markey
  1. Department of Emergency Medicine, University Hospital Waterford, Waterford, Ireland
  1. Correspondence to Dr Gerard Markey, Department of Emergency Medicine, University Hospital Waterford, Waterford X91 ER8E, Ireland; gerardmarkey{at}


An 11-year-old girl presented with pain and deformity in her right little finger distal interphalangeal joint (DIPJ). She was active in several sports including hurling and had a history of dyspraxia with frequent minor soft tissue injuries which had not required hospital assessment. Her mother was concerned about the possibility of a recent injury.

Examination showed flexion deformity of the right fifth finger with complete loss of extension at the DIPJ. There was mild swelling and tenderness of the DIPJ with no bruising, erythema or warmth. An X-ray was performed (figure 1).

Figure 1

An teroposterior (AP) and lateral radiographs of the right little finger.

Question What is the diagnosis?

  1. Salter-Harris type 1 fracture of distal phalanx

  2. Dystelephalangy

  3. Extensor digiti minimi tendon injury

  4. Clinodactyly

  • imaging
  • x-ray
  • musculoskeletal

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  • Contributors All of the authors contributed equally.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Guardian consent obtained.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

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