Trigger finger, whose technical name is stenosing tenosynovitis, is a somewhat debilitating condition in which your finger is stuck in a bent position. When you straighten it out, the sensation – and what it looks like – is similar to pulling and releasing a trigger.
The condition of trigger finger is caused by irritation or inflammation of the sheath surrounding the tendon in the finger. At first, the affected finger will not necessarily stay locked in a bent position, but as the condition worsens, locking could occur.
Let’s talk about what causes tendon pain and trigger finger, and where you can go here in Clinton Township and Macomb County for excellent sports medicine and orthopedic treatment.
What Causes Trigger Finger?
Every tendon attaches a muscle to a bone. These thick, fibrous cords of tissue each have a protective sheath covering them. If the tendon is swollen, or if the sheath is inflamed or develops a tiny nodule, it interrupts the smooth gliding movement of the finger. This causes the finger to catch, or to lock in place, as you bend or extend it.
Trigger finger can affect any of the fingers, including the thumb, and it can be quite painful.
Who Tends to Get Trigger Finger?
People who make repetitive gripping actions are at the highest risk of developing trigger finger, whether it is due to their occupation, hobbies, or household chores. This includes writers, typists, cashiers, dental hygienists, gardeners, construction workers, and manufacturing workers. It also includes those who draw, paint, and play musical instruments.
Insofar as it potentially affecting anyone, household chores that can lead to trigger finger include cooking, cleaning, yard work, and making repairs. Plus, trigger finger can be a complication of diabetes.
Treatment for Trigger Finger
A mild case of trigger finger or trigger thumb can be relieved with resting the hand and taking an over-the-counter pain reliever to alleviate the discomfort.
Rest means limiting or refraining from manipulating the finger in question into making the causative repetitive gripping motions. To help your finger heal, you can wear a splint on your hand while you sleep at night; be sure to take it off during the day. Patients who have trigger finger can also benefit from physical therapist-supervised hand therapy exercises.
In the case of a severe trigger finger, where you cannot move the finger out of the locked position or it is causing extreme pain, surgery may be an effective option. Trigger finger surgery is performed to either cut the tendon sheath or to remove part of it, thereby alleviating the pressure on the tendon and allowing the finger to move smoothly again.
Trigger Finger Treatment in Clinton Township, MI
For relief from trigger finger pain and dysfunction, schedule an appointment with the experienced orthopedic team here at Movement Orthopedics. Our own Dr. Troy Williams is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon with fellowship training in hand surgery, and his extensive experience allows him to successfully treat hand problems of all kinds – including trigger finger and tendon pain.
If you have any questions or would like to make an appointment with Dr. Williams, call us today at (586) 436-3785 or fill out our online request form. We look forward to helping you get your hand back!