Boutonnière deformity is damage to the tissue of the middle joint of the finger. It makes it hard to straighten the finger.

Tendons in the Finger
Finger Tendon
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This problem may be caused by:

  • A cut to the top of the finger
  • A blow to the top of a bent middle finger with an object, such as a ball
  • Weak tendons from health problems, such as rheumatoid arthritis

Risk Factors

Rheumatoid arthritiscan raise your risk of this problem.


Symptoms may be:

  • A cut to the top of the finger
  • Pain and swelling
  • Problems opening straightening the finger
  • A change in the way the finger looks or feels


The doctor will ask about your symptoms and health history. A physical exam will be done, paying close attention to the finger. You may be asked how the injury happened.

An x-ray may be done to check for a fracture.


A splint will be needed to protect the finger as it heals. Other options are:


Medicine may be needed to ease pain and swelling. It may be given by mouth or with an injection.

Antibiotics may also be used to treat an infection.


Some people may need surgery to repair the tendon. Exercises will also be given to help with finger strength and motion.


This injury often happens due to accidents. There are no guidelines to prevent it.

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