what is a trigger finger?
Causes and treatments to resolve pain from trigger finger
Trigger finger is a common condition in patients who do repetitive gripping or flexing of their fingers and hand. The tendons that flex the fingers run under a ligament, the A1 pulley, which keeps the tendons in place. In some cases, the tendons can get swollen from inflammation and develop a nodule that starts catching and popping under the ligament.
How do I know if I have a trigger finger?
If you have pain when bending your finger or it locks up when you bend your fingers, you might have a trigger finger. In severe cases, the tendon can get so swollen that it will get stuck and will no longer bend the finger.
What are the treatments for trigger finger?
Frequently, the patient is offered a course of hand therapy to try to restore the full range of motion of the finger. In addition, anti-inflammatory medications, steroid injection, and a finger splint may be offered to treat the pain and inflammation.
For many years, the definitive treatment was surgery through an open incision, releasing the A1 pulley, and allowing it to heal in a stretched position. This would take the pressure off the finger, allowing the finger to bend again without getting stuck. However, an open release requires wound care, removing stitches a week after the procedure, risk of infection, and prolonged return to work due to the wound healing, and up to 4 weeks of restricted hand function. There is also potential for complications from the surgical healing, including pain and extensive scarring.
Currently, there is a minimally invasive technique to perform a similar release without a surgical incision. It is called a Percutaneous Trigger Finger Release Under Ultrasound Guidance. Learn more about trigger finger release here.
Trigger Finger Release