Trigger finger occurs when you bend your finger or thumb, and it catches or locks, causing pain and immobility. It is a very common and treatable problem. Let’s talk about the causes, symptoms, and treatments of trigger finger, so you can be well prepared if you develop it.
The following are some of the signs and symptoms of trigger finger, which can range from mild to severe:
- Finger stiffness, particularly in the morning
- A popping or clicking sound when the finger is moved
- Tenderness or a bump (nodule) at the base of the affected finger in the palm
- The finger catching or locking in a bent position, then popping straight
Any finger, including the thumb, can be affected by trigger finger. At any given time, more than one finger may be affected. Triggering is most noticeable first thing in the morning while grasping an object firmly, or when straightening your fingers.
Diagnosis of Trigger Finger
The good news is that trigger finger can be easily identified based on a patient’s symptoms and a physical examination. Diagnostic testing is rarely necessary.
Importance of Getting Treatment
It is certain that any health problem, even if it is minor, is disruptive to daily life. It is more certain than if you ignore the problem, whether because you are preoccupied with life, you are afraid of treatment, or you are not personally convinced of the treatment, it will likely worsen. This can result in you needing more complicated and intense treatments to alleviate symptoms.
That’s exactly why getting treatment for trigger finger at the earliest sign of the problem is recommended. Trigger finger is a condition that worsens over time. The finger could be locked in either a bent or straight position (less common). To straighten the bent finger, you may need to use your other hand. Other fingers that were not initially affected may also become curled or straightened. The symptoms that come with it, such as swelling, could get worse.
Overall, using the affected hand will be difficult. If you have advanced trigger finger, you may find it difficult to complete everyday tasks due to your condition. Therefore, always strive to visit your doctor as soon as you feel the presence of a problem and discuss with them the methods of treatment appropriate for you.
Treatment is determined by the severity of your symptoms. The majority of the time, you’ll begin with:
Try not to move your thumb or finger a lot. It’s possible that you’ll need to step away from the activity that’s causing the issue.
Your doctor can give you one designed to keep your finger still.
- Stretching Exercises
Some supervised and at-home exercises may be beneficial to patients. It may be beneficial to have a hand therapist teach you concepts and techniques; these exercises can help with stiffness and improve your range of motion.
Your doctor may suggest over-the-counter drugs that fight inflammation, like ibuprofen or naproxen.
Corticosteroid injections, also known as cortisone shots, can be given at any stage of symptom development. When they are administered early, however, there may be a better chance of success.
If the above treatments do not work or are ineffective, surgery may be recommended. Your tendon will be able to move freely again after the surgeon cuts through the affected section of the tendon sheath.
Trigger finger surgery is highly effective, and the problem in the treated finger or thumb rarely returns.
The 2 types of surgery for trigger finger are:
- Open trigger finger release surgery
- Percutaneous trigger finger release surgery
These types of surgery may not be recommended if you have rheumatoid arthritis, because they can cause your finger to drift sideways. A tenosynovectomy, may be required instead. To allow the tendon to move again, a portion of the tendon sheath will be removed.
Trigger Finger Treatment in Clinton Township, MI
Dr. Troy Williams, our hand, wrist, and elbow specialist, can diagnose and treat a variety of hand, wrist, and elbow conditions, including trigger finger. He can perform a comprehensive assessment and design the best treatment plan, as a board-certified hand surgeon. You can count on him to assist you in getting your hand back in good condition again.
Call us at (586) 436-3785 to make an appointment, or if you have any questions about our practice. You can also request an appointment using our online form. We are excited to serve you!