What is Trigger Finger?

  • Affects the tendons in your fingers and thumb
  • Limits finger movement
  • Tendon and sheath can become irritated and swollen, delaying your ability to straighten out your finger

Muscles that control movement of the fingers and thumb are in the forearm. Flexor tendons attach from the muscles and extend through the wrist and attach to the small bones of the fingers and thumb. When you move your fingers, the flexor tendon slides through a tight tunnel – the tendon sheath – that holds the tendon in place next to the bones. Trigger Finger occurs when:

  • The flexor tendon become irritated in the sheath
  • The increasingly irritated tendon develops nodules
  • The sheath thickens, restricting the diameter of the sheath
  • The tendon becomes temporarily stuck at the opening of the sheath when you attempt to straighten your finger

No one knows why Trigger Finger occurs, but we do know that:

  • The condition occurs more frequently in women
  • Occurs most often in people between the ages of 40 and 60
  • More common in people with certain diseases including diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis
  • The condition may occur after certain strenuous hand activities

Our Treatment Approach

Lumin OrthoCARE hand specialists are experts in diagnosing and treating Trigger Finger. They have helped many patients successful deal with the condition. While not a dangerous condition, it can be annoying and disrupt daily life. So, the decision to seek treatment depends on an individual’s personal circumstances and desires.

Diagnosing Trigger Finger is relatively easy, your physician will examine your hand and talk to you about your current health challenges. He or she will always pursue conservative non-surgical approaches first:

  • Resting and splinting the affected finger
  • Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications
  • Corticosteroid injections

If these conservative approaches don’t provide relief from the problem, surgery is an option. Surgery is designed to widen the opening of the sheath so the tendon can slide through it more easily, preventing temporary catching and popping of the affected finger. Surgery is performed:

  • Using a minimally invasive technique and specially-designed equipment
  • As an outpatient procedure, so the patient goes home the same day of the surgery

Recovery is generally fast with some soreness lasting for several weeks. Physical therapy and finger exercises may be prescribed if your finger was especially stiff before surgery.

Causes

While the exact cause of Trigger Finger is unknown, certain factors contribute to its development:

  • The condition occurs more frequently in women
  • Occurs most often in people between the ages of 40 and 60
  • More common in people with certain diseases including diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis
  • The condition may occur after certain strenuous hand activities

Symptoms

  • Swelling
  • A tender lump in your palm
  • Catching or popping feeling in our finger or thumb joints when you try to straighten them
  • Pain while moving your finger
  • In severe cases, the affected finger(s) cannot be straightened

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