Conveniently located throughout Melbourne and Gippsland

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If you have seen some swelling and tenderness at the base of your thumb or experienced a painful wrist and thumb symptoms that occur on the thumb side of the wrist, you’ve come to the right place.

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Thermoplastic water proof splint orthosis. 6 weeks full time splinting. ROM of the DIPJ in particular

WHAT IS A CENTRAL SLIP (Boutonniere Deformity)?

For our fingers to straighten, several tendons need to work together. These tendons run along the side and on the top of the finger. The tendon that runs along the top is called the central slip and attaches to the middle bone of the finger.

An injury to the central slip is usually caused when the finger is traumatically forced into a bent position – for example being hit by a ball, or if the middle joint dislocates. An injury to your central slip tendon may result in a fixed flexion deformity which is an inability to fully straighten your finger, and puts you at risk of developing a deformity called a boutonniere.

Central slip injury treatment melbourne


  • Fixed flexion deformity
  • Forced flexion injury to the finger, or dislocation
  • Inability to straighten the finger
  • Pain and swelling around the middle joint of the finger
  • Flexion contracture or loss of movement

Call us on 1300 762 227 for an appointment, or schedule an appointment online by clicking the button below.


A central slip injury can be due to either a fracture at the base of the middle bone (avulsion) or from a tear in the fibres of the central slip itself (tendinous). You may need an x-ray to check if the bone is broken as well as the tendon being damaged. Your Hand Therapist, Physiotherapist or Occupational Therapist can organise an Xray referral for you. They will also assess your finger movement, swelling and pain in order to confirm the diagnosis.

Patient treatment for de quervains tenosynovitis | action rehab

Our Physiotherapists and Occupational Therapists have extensive knowledge and experience in assessing, diagnosing, treating, and managing your hand and upper extremity – your shoulder, elbow, wrist, and hand – injuries or conditions, so you know you’re in good hands.

The hand therapists at Action Rehab are experienced in the assessment and treatment of Central Slip injury Tenosynovitis. With a reputation endorsed by sporting organisations like the Melbourne Football Club, Action Rehab is the smart choice for treating your Central Slip injury.

Get on the road to recovery, so you can do the things you love.


Following thorough assessment and discussion regarding the details of your injury, your hand therapist will custom fabricate a splint to keep the middle joint of your finger straight. This allows the tendon or fracture to heal in the optimal position, and is required for a period of up to 6-8 weeks. This timeline is determined by your hand therapist and based on a number of factors including the specifics of your injury, the timescales of your injury along with your individual functional needs and goals.

Once your tendon or fracture has been assessed as healed enough to safely move through range, your therapist will provide you with an exercises program and advise on how to successfully and safely ween from your splint. Ongoing discussion regarding your functional goals will allow your therapist to provide you with a range of motion and strengthening program specifically tailored to your needs.

What happens if I do not get treatment for my central slip injury?

If you do not get treatment for a central slip injury, the middle joint of the finger will not be able to straighten without help and may stiffen into a boutonniere position. This deformity is more difficult to fix and requires a much longer period of immobilisation in a splint in order to correct the imbalance of the soft tissues. A central slip injury will not heal optimally on its own.

Central slip orthosis splint | action rehab
Volar plate injuries | action rehab

View the video below to learn more about central slip injury.

Play Video about Fixed Flexion Deformity | Action Rehab


How will treating my central slip injury impact my life on a day-to-day basis?

Our custom-made, water proof splints ensure we get the most comfortable fit for you throughout the healing phase of your rehab. They are also removable, and your hand therapist will discuss with you when it is safe for you to take your splint on and off. We appreciate the need for our patients to be able to continue to engage in meaningful activities such as work and sport and therefore can provide thorough education on what activities are safe to engage in. 

We also provide custom-made guards and strategies to minimise your risk when returning to sport and  activities that require heavier use of your injured hand.

If you have any questions or believe you may be suffering from a central slip injury, our staff at Action Rehab are available to assist in a variety of clinics across Melbourne and Gippsland.

Does It Require Surgery?

Rarely does Central Slip require surgery.  In the rare occasion where surgery may be required, we will be able to advise you on whom the most appropriate surgeon is for you to see.

Tendon injury - central slip injury

See below for lightweight splint with and without the finger tip free.

See below the two treatment approaches for a patient who has central slip, fixed flexion Boutonniere deformity.

Fig 1:  Basic Treatment

This is an aluminium splint that holds the finger in extension but does not allow range of the finger tip and stretching of the lateral bands.

Trigger finger incorrect treatment

Fig 2:  Action Rehab Treatment

A custom made, functional, light weight, water proof, thermoplastic barrel splint with the finger tip left free to mobilise and stretch the lateral bands and the ORL.

Splinting finger fracture | action rehab

To Book Call Us On 1300 762 227

Call us on 1300 762 227 for an appointment, or schedule an appointment online by clicking the button below.


At Action Rehab, our Hand Therapists, Physiotherapists, and Occupational Therapists have extensive experience assessing and treating central slip injuries, fixed flexion deformities and Boutonniere deformity.

We will take the time to assess and treat your central slip, fixed flexion Boutonniere deformity, and we will tailor a splinting and strengthening program to treat your injury. At Action Rehab we treat hundreds of central slip injury patients every year, and a strengthening and stabilisation program can assist with symptoms of Central Slip injury.

To make an appointment, enquire, or find your closest location call us on 1300 762 227 or schedule an appointment online.
Scaphoid fracture consultation | action rehab


Central slip injury, fixed flexion, Boutonniere deformity is caused by an avulsion or rupture of the central tendon in the finger.  A forced bend or trauma to the finger can cause the Central slip to rupture.

Central Slip injury is very common in ball sports but can be misdiagnosed as a finger dislocation so proper assessment is required.

If Central Slip injury is treated early then it can be prevented from becoming a fixed flexion deformity.  Splinting normally requires six weeks, then a range of motion and strengthening program can begin.

Generally no. Surgery is a last resort but again it is important to be assessed early. In the rare cases where surgery is required your hand therapist at Action Rehab can refer you to the appropriate surgeon to have your Central Slip repaired.

If left untreated a Central Slip injury can become a fixed flexion deformity which can then develop into a Boutonniere deformity that can be very difficult to treat.  These conditions can be functionally limiting and may require corrective surgery.


Action Rehab provide assessment and treatment for all conditions relating to the upper limb, include scaphoid fractures. Come and see our highly qualified and friendly staff today at a location convenient to you.