Trigger Finger

What is Trigger Finger?

Stenosing Tenosynovitis, commonly called ‘Trigger finger’ is the painful condition in which one of your fingers gets stuck in a bent position. Your finger may straighten with a snap sound, like...

Symptoms

Trigger finger usually affects the thumb or middle finger or ring finger. Also, more than one finger and both hands might develop the disorder. The symptoms and pain are more obvious in the mornings or when you use the affected finger. Symptoms of a trigger finger include:

  • Finger stiffness
  • Inflammation of joints of the fingers
  • Clicking or popping sensation during movement of fingers
  • Bumps in the base of the affected finger
  • Tenderness in the affected finger
  • Fingers getting locked in bent position and sudden straightening with popping
  • Fingers getting locked in bent position and inability to straighten

 

Causes

A few causes for trigger finger could be:

  •  Repeated movements of the fingers
  • Forceful usage of fingers
  • Grasping with firm grip for long durations
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Gout
  • Diabetes

Risks

You could be at an increased risk of developing trigger finger if:

  • You are an industrial worker
  • You are a musician who uses repetitive movements of fingers
  • You are a chain smoker who uses lighters
  • You are a woman in the age group of forty to sixty years of age

 

Prevention

Stretch your fingers and keep them active, if you have hobbies and occupations that cause the disease. Take suitable precautionary measures and medications for arthritis and diabetes to keep yourself healthy and fit.

How is it diagnosed?

Trigger finger does not require elaborate diagnostic procedures. Your doctor can diagnose the disorder using a physical examination and by checking your medical history. During your physical examin...

How is it treated?

At Medanta, the treatment procedures recommended for trigger finger depend on the severity of your condition and for how long the condition has been prevailing.

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  • Drug therapy

    Non steroidal and anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen are used to relieve the pain. They might not always be effective in reducing the inflammation of tendons.

  • Rest therapy

    Your doctor would advise you to take rest and avoid all activities that involve repeated usage of fingers.

  • Heat therapy

     Hot water bags may be kept on the affected area to relieve pain and reduce inflammation.

  • Ice therapy

    It could be advised to keep ice packs on the injured portion for several times a day, to decrease the pain during movement.

  • Splint therapy

    You might be asked to wear a splint when you sleep, to keep the finger in an extended position for up to six weeks. This provides rest to the affected tendons. Also, splints prevent curling of fingers in sleep, which in turn prevents the pain when you wake up in the mornings.

  • Physical therapy

    Gentle exercises to stretch the muscles of your fingers assist in regaining the lost mobility.

  • Steroidal therapy

    If other modes of treatment do not seem to be effective enough, you might be advised to take a dose or two of a steroidal injection. This injection reduces the inflammation and aids in smooth movement of tendons. This is a common method and around ninety percent of the people get cured with this method. If you have diabetes, the effect might be lesser.

  • Percutaneous release therapy

    In this method, a sturdy needle is inserted into your affected finger and the constriction of the tendon is broken apart. An ultrasound device is used during the procedure to monitor the location and control the depth of needle penetration. 

  • Surgical therapy

    A minor surgical procedure is done using a small incision near the base of the affected finger. The constrained tendon sheath is cut off surgically. This method is generally opted when all else fails.

When do I contact the doctor?

If your fingers feel like being caught or stiff, consult your doctor for a physical analysis. If the joints of your fingers feel inflamed and hot, it might be a case of infection. 

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