Boutonnière Deformity of Finger



Boutonnière deformity 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 arthritis can raise your risk of boutonnière deformity.



Symptoms may be:

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


The doctor will ask about symptoms and past health. Questions may also be asked about how any injury happened. A physical exam will be done. It will focus on the finger.

Pictures of the finger may be taken. This can be done with an x-ray.



The goal of treatment is to help the finger heal properly to prevent long term problems. Options are:


Support can include:

  • Medicine to ease pain and swelling
  • A splint to support the finger as it heals
  • Exercises to help with strength, flexibility, and range of motion


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.

This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.

Edits to original content made by Denver Health.