Trigger finger is a condition that affects one or more of the hand’s tendons, making it troublesome to bend the involved finger or thumb. If the tendon comes swollen and inflamed, it can “catch” in the tunnel it runs through the tendon sheath. This can make it difficult to move the affected finger or thumb and can cause a clicking sensation. It also knows the trigger finger as stenosing tenosynovitis. Trigger finger usually affects the thumb, ring finger, or little finger. It can affect one or more fingers, and the problem may develop in both hands. It’s more common in the right hand, which may be because most people are right-handed. In this article we brief trigger finger symptoms & treatment plan.
Trigger Finger Causes & Symptoms
While the sources of trigger finger are not well known, several circumstances may increase your risk for promoting the condition. These include:
- Trigger finger is more prevalent in individuals with certain medical conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, gout, and diabetes.
- Forceful hand activities of the fingers and thumb may induce trigger finger.
Symptoms of trigger finger usually start without a single bruise. They may adhere to a period of heavy or lengthy hand use, especially pinching and grasping activities. Symptoms may include:
- A tender bump at the base of the finger on the palm side of the hand.
- A catching, popping or locking sensation with finger action.
- Pain when you bend or straighten the finger.
- Stiffness and locking are worse after periods of inactivity, such as when you wake up in the morning.
In a severe case, the involved finger may become locked in a bent position.
Trigger Finger Diagnosis
The diagnosis of the trigger finger requires no elaborate testing. Your physician makes the diagnosis based on your medical history and a physical exam. During the physical exam, your physician will ask you to open and close your hand, finding out for areas of pain, smoothness of motion, and manifest of locking.
Your physician will also feel your palm to determine if there is a lump present. If it associates the lump with trigger finger, the lump will move as the finger motions because the lump is an area of swelling in the part of the tendon that turns the finger.
Trigger Finger Treatment
The goal of treatment in the trigger finger is to eliminate the swelling and catching/locking, allowing full, painless movement of the finger or thumb. Common treatments include:
- Night Trigger Finger Splints
- Changing your activity
- Anti-inflammatory medication
- Steroid injection
If the symptoms are not relieved by non-surgical treatments, it may recommend surgery. The intention of surgery is to open the pulley at the base of the finger so that the tendon can slide more effortlessly. It calls the surgical procedure for trigger finger “tenolysis” or trigger finger release. The aim of the procedure is to release the A1 pulley that is holding up tendon movement so that the flexor tendon can glide more easily through the tendon sheath. The procedure is an outpatient setting with an injection of local anesthesia to anesthetize the area for surgery.
The popping goes away first. Finger motion can come back quickly, or there can be some stiffness following surgery. Occasionally, hand therapy is required following surgery to achieve better use.