What happens if trigger finger is left untreated?

Trigger finger or stenosing tenosynovitis can cause your finger to become locked in a bent position and then suddenly release and snap back, straightening itself out. It is clear why it’s referred to as such. Look at your fingers when they’re in a bent position — doesn’t it seem like they are pulling the trigger of a gun?

Trigger finger, however common, can become a permanent problem if left untreated. This is why it is important to see a specialist as soon as symptoms first appear.

What Can Happen If You Leave Trigger Finger Untreated?

Trigger finger is a progressive hand condition. Over time, trigger finger can worsen without proper treatment. The fingers could remain locked in a bent position or in a straight position (less common). You may need to use your other hand to straighten the bent finger. The other fingers that were initially unaffected could also become stuck in a curled or straightened position. The accompanying symptoms, such as swelling, could also become severe.

All in all, it will be difficult to use the affected hand. If you have an advanced trigger finger, you may be severely limited by your condition and may struggle to complete everyday tasks.

Treatment for Trigger Finger

In most cases, trigger finger can be treated with non-surgical treatment methods. Maintaining mobility in the fingers is important to prevent stiffness. Splinting can ease symptoms by preventing the movement of your fingers. Corticosteroids injected directly into the tendon sheath can reduce pain and swelling.

If non-surgical methods fail, the doctor may recommend trigger finger release surgery using the open or percutaneous technique. During the procedure, the doctor cuts the tendon sheath to make it wider. Percutaneous trigger finger release surgery is less invasive. The doctor only needs to insert a needle through the skin to slice through the ligament and access the tendon sheath. This method reduces scarring and pain for patients.

Trigger finger surgery is very effective and prevents a recurrence of the problem in the same finger. The recovery period for either approach is short. You should be able to move your fingers normally immediately after surgery.

If you decide to pursue trigger finger surgery, make sure to choose a highly skilled hand surgeon to perform the procedure. You are more likely to get the best outcome in the hands of an expert.

Trigger Finger Treatment in Clinton Township, MI

Our hand surgeon at Movement Orthopedics, Dr. Troy R. “Keoni” Williams, is board-certified, with over a decade of experience diagnosing and treating all manner of hand disorders and diseases.

Your healthcare team at Movement Orthopedics will make sure you receive compassionate and comprehensive care, from your first visit to your recovery and rehabilitation. For your convenience, we also offer physical therapy services in the same clinic.

To make an appointment with Dr. Williams, call our clinic now at (586) 436-3785 or use our appointment request form. We look forward to being your partner in health.

Need Help?

Call Us

(586) 436-3785