By common usage, the term mallet finger, which is a misnomer, has come to mean a particular deformity resulting from loss of extensor tendon continuity to the distal finger joint. It is important to distinguish the cause of the deformity because the treatment and prognosis vary. During a thirteen-year period the authors have seen 161 patients (163 fingers) with a chief complaint of a dropped finger resulting from a closed injury. Pertinent statistics, methods of treatment, and end results have been presented. Emphasis has been placed on the important factors influencing treatment and prognosis. Safe, conservative, and time-tested methods of treatment which eliminate catastrophic complications have been shown.