Trigger finger (tenosynovitis) can be a painful condition. It causes the finger to catch or lock in a bent position. It most commonly occurs in the fourth (ring finger) or the thumb. It can affect one finger or more than one and also may affect the hands.
The cause is inflammation of the tendon sheath. Tendons connect bones to muscles and are covered by a sheath. When the sheath becomes inflamed, it becomes difficult for the tendon to glide. The sheath becomes irregular and tight, which causes trigger finger.
Fortunately, if you have trigger finger, our orthopedic doctors in Boca Raton can help. First, doctors will recommend non-surgical conservative treatment methods such as medication, therapy, splinting, or steroid injections. If conventional treatment methods have failed, your physician may recommend surgery.
The first recommendation of doctors after diagnosis is to try to treat trigger finger with non-sugical methods. There are several different options to try before considering surgery:
Trigger finger can be a result of overuse. So resting the hands or fingers can reduce symptoms. Usually, after 1-2 weeks, symptoms improve.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen can help reduce the pain and inflammation in the fingers
Some splints can be helpful for trigger fingers. It usually wraps around the palm with a covering for the lower part of the affected finger. This allows for the patient to be able to still bend the top part of their finger without moving the part of the finger that is closest to the palm.
There are hand and finger exercises that stretch and strengthen the muscles that surround the tendon, which can help reduce pain and stiffness. If you experience increased pain, then tell your physical therapist or doctor. They may offer alternative exercises or discontinue them altogether.
Soft grips over steering wheels or even pens can help reduce friction and inflammation of trigger finger.
Doctors, can inject corticosteroids around the tendon sheath affecting the finger. Corticosteroids can reduce both the pain and the inflammation, allowing for improved motion of the finger. Sometimes it takes more than one injection before symptom relief.
When non-surgical options are no longer effective, your doctor may recommend surgery. This may also be necessary if the finger is permanently in a bent position.
There are three different types of surgical options to address trigger finger. All are performed at outpatient surgical centers.
With open surgery, the surgeon makes an incision in the palm of the hand. They then cut the tendon sheath so that the tendon can move. The patient is given a local anesthetic to avoid pain during the procedure. This is usually the preferred surgical option for treating trigger finger.
With percutaneous release, the surgeon inserts a needle into the bottom of the affected finger to cut the tendon sheath. One benefit is that it does not leave a wound. Just like with open surgery, the patient receives a local anesthetic when the procedure is performed. It is effective for managing pain during the procedure.
Tenosynovectomy is rarely performed and is only the chosen option if the other two are inappropriate, such as if the patient has rheumatoid arthritis. The surgery removes part of the tendon sheath to release the finger.
Patients can usually move their fingers or thumb immediately after surgery. It will gradually improve over time, and you can expect full movement within 1-2 weeks after the procedure.
Open surgery may require a dressing to be worn for a few days. After you remove the dressing, keep the wound clean by washing it regularly with mild soap and water.
Your surgeon will advise when it is okay to resume activities such as driving or using the computer. You must follow all after-care instructions to have the best outcome after surgery.
At Orthopaedic Surgery Associates, we specialize in orthopedics and treat many orthopedic conditions, including trigger finger. Our Boca Raton orthopedics and sports medicine clinic can diagnose and develop a customized treatment plan to treat your condition.
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If you are concerned about trigger finger, Contact us today!
The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.
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