To treat mallet finger with a splint, it is important to wear a splint all of the time for three to eight weeks, depending on the severity of the condition, according to MedlinePlus. Following that, wear the splint for another three to four weeks, but only at night.
It is important to be careful when cleaning the splint, ensuring that the finger remains straight whenever the splint comes off, explains MedlinePlus. Allowing the finger to bend or droop may slow the healing process. When showering, cover the splint and finger in a plastic bag to keep them dry. Using an ice pack can help to ease the pain from a mallet finger, and use it about 20 minutes every hour for the first two days, and then 10 to 20 minutes, three times a day, to reduce swelling and pain. Over-the-counter medication for pain, such as ibuprofen, naproxen or acetaminophen, may also help.
When it's time for the splint to come off, the doctor usually examines how well the finger is healing, states MedlinePlus. Swelling, for example, may indicate that the finger still has healing to do, and the doctor may ask for an X-ray of the finger. If healing is not complete, the doctor may suggest wearing the splint for a longer period of time.