MeetDr Rewat LaxmanD'Orth, DNB Orthopaedics

Trigger Finger

Trigger Finger

What is Trigger Finger?

Trigger finger, also known as stenosing tenosynovitis, is a condition where one of your fingers or thumb gets stuck in a bent position. It can be painful and limit movement.

It occurs when inflammation narrows the space within the sheath that surrounds the tendon in the affected finger. Anyone can get trigger finger, but it's more common in women and individuals over 40 years of age. It’s also seen more frequently in people with certain health problems, such as diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis.

Symptoms often start without a clear reason and may include:

  • A lump or tenderness at the base of the affected finger or thumb.
  • Stiffness, particularly in the morning.
  • A popping or clicking sensation as you move your finger.
  • The affected finger catching or locking in a bent position, which suddenly pops straight.
  • Pain when bending or straightening the affected finger.

Treatment: Treatment for trigger finger varies depending on the severity of the condition. Here are the common treatment options:

  1. Home Remedies and Self-Care:
    • Rest: Avoid activities that require repetitive gripping, grasping, or the use of vibrating tools for a period to allow the inflammation to decrease.
    • Splinting: A splint may be used to keep the affected finger in an extended position, especially at night, to rest the tendon.
    • Gentle Stretching: Gentle exercises can help maintain mobility in the finger.
  2. Medications:
    • Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs):Over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen or naproxen can help relieve pain and reduce inflammation.
  3. Therapies:
    • Physical Therapy: A therapist can teach you exercises to strengthen and stretch the hand and finger. They may also use modalities like ultrasound to decrease inflammation.
  4. Surgery: For those cases that do not respond to other treatments, surgery may be an option.
    • Percutaneous Release: A needle is used to break apart the constricting portion of the tendon sheath under local anesthesia. This procedure does not involve an open incision.

Choosing a Treatment:

The choice of treatment depends on factors such as the severity of the condition, how long you have had it, your general health, and personal preferences. In many cases, less invasive treatments are tried first. Surgery is generally considered a last resort and is typically used for severe or recurrent cases.