When the tendons that help bend the fingers are compromised in some way, you may develop stenosing tenosynovitis, or trigger finger. The cause of this condition is unknown, but can develop because of medical conditions or overuse.
What is Trigger Finger?
Trigger finger occurs when the pulleys that hold the tendons close to the bone become thick. If they become too thick, the tendon can no longer glide easily which prevents the finger from moving through its natural range of motion. The condition usually starts with a feeling of discomfort and a ‘catching feeling’ at the base of the finger or the thumb. This area can become very sensitive to pressure and some people develop a small lump. Other symptoms include persistent pain, popping sensation, and limited movement. Swelling can also occur as the area becomes inflamed.
Trigger Finger Treatment
Trigger finger treatment options include surgical and non-surgical treatment. The goal of treatment is to reduce swelling and restore full movement of the finger or thumb. Wearing a night splint can help restore functioning, as well as changing activities to limit gripping or overuse of the problem finger. Steroid injections can help control inflammation.
If non-surgical treatments do not work, surgery can help restore the pulley at the base of the finger. This may be the only option for those who are experiencing persistent symptoms or can’t seem to get any relief from the pain. After surgery, hand therapy may be necessary to restore full range of motion and to strengthen the muscles around the hand.
What to Expect with Trigger Finger Treatment
Most people with trigger finger get results with nonsurgical treatment and the treatment process may require one or more modalities. Dr. Kilaru will need to conduct a thorough physical examination and do some tests to determine which finger is causing problems and how severe the condition is.
He will monitor your progress during and after treatment. If surgery is necessary, Dr. Kilaru will perform the surgical procedure and may recommend physical therapy as part of your treatment plan.
If you’re experiencing symptoms of trigger finger or want to learn more about repetitive injuries, schedule a consultation with Dr. Kilaru today.