We all know that we’re supposed to go see a doctor when something is wrong about our health. However, sometimes, it can be quite hard to know when something is really wrong, and when we should just tough it out. That’s especially true for problems like trigger finger (stenosing tenosynovitis), which can be annoying or even painful, but not necessarily serious.
So, when should you go visit a doctor for trigger finger? Find out below.
Signs that You Have Trigger Finger and When to See a Doctor
Trigger finger occurs when the tendon sheath, which is a thin layer of tissue that surrounds each tendon in your finger, gets inflamed. The inflammation results in the narrowing of the space within the sheath.
If you have trigger finger, you may experience the following problems:
- Finger stiffness and soreness
- Catching or locking when trying to move your finger (and it suddenly pops straight)
- Clicking, popping, or snapping sensation when moving your finger
- Bump (also referred to as a nodule) at the base of your finger
These symptoms often start mild and worsen over time, and become more noticeable after prolonged hand use. If you have these symptoms, particularly when they’re starting to become disruptive, get your finger checked out by an orthopedic hand doctor for proper evaluation.
You should also see your provider if your finger feels hot, swollen, or looks red, and you run a fever. These symptoms are indicative of infectious tenosynovitis which, although very rare, can lead to permanent damage of the finger.
Trigger Finger Diagnosis and Treatment
Trigger finger diagnosis requires no elaborate testing (i.e., lab tests or X-rays). Your orthopedic hand specialist will merely carry out a physical exam and assess your symptoms.
The treatment you need will depend on the severity of your symptoms. It may be any or a combination of the following:
- Activity modification – If it is not possible for you to take time off from work or your activities, your doctor may suggest that you wear padded gloves
- Splinting – to keep your finger from moving
- Stretching exercises – to alleviate stiffness and improve your finger’s range of motion
- Medications – Your doctor may prescribe medications or administer steroid shots into the tendon sheath to combat the inflammation.
If nonoperative treatments haven’t helped, your hand specialist may recommend surgery to cut the constricted section of the tendon sheath to allow the tendon to glide through it easily.
Hand Doctor for Trigger Finger Near You in Clinton Township, MI
A board-certified and fellowship-trained orthopedic hand surgeon, Dr. Williams is best known for his compassionate approach to care and dedication to delivering exceptional outcomes for the full range of hand, wrist, and elbow problems. Whatever treatment you need – whether steroid injections or surgery – you can trust him to get your finger moving freely again.