Signs of Trigger Finger

Stenosing tenosynovitis, commonly known as trigger thumb or trigger finger, occurs when the protective sheath that surrounds the tendons that allow the fingers and thumb to bend becomes inflamed or irritated. As a result, the tendon is no longer able to glide as the fingers and thumb open and close. Over time, the tendon can become scarred and thickened or develop nodules, which can make movement even more difficult. Click here to learn more about trigger finger, treatment and recovery.

Who is At Risk for Trigger Finger or Trigger Thumb?

Individuals who engage in work or hobbies that involve repeated or prolonged gripping or hand use are more likely to develop trigger finger or trigger thumb. The condition is also more common in women and individuals with inflammatory conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, or diabetes.

Symptoms of Stenosing Tenosynovitis

Stenosing tenosynovitis can affect any finger and often affects more than one finger at a time. Symptoms may progress from mild to severe as the inflammation and damage to the tendon worsen.

Symptoms typically include:

  • a nodule or tenderness at the base of the affected finger,
  • stiffness that is normally worse in the morning,
  • a finger pops or clicks with movement, and
  • a finger catches or locks when bent and then pops straight suddenly.

In severe cases, the bent finger may become locked to the point that it cannot be straightened.

Trigger Finger Treatment

Mild to moderate cases of trigger finger or trigger thumb may be treated with conservative measures, including:

  • splinting,
  • over-the-counter or prescription anti-inflammatories,
  • stretching exercises,
  • rest, or
  • steroid injections.

In severe cases, the doctor may need to perform a procedure to release the constriction so that the tendon can move freely. One method involves inserting a needle into the area around the tendon to break apart the constriction. Another method involves making a small incision to open up the constricted tendon sheath. The majority of patients are able to move the affected fingers normally immediately after the procedure. Depending on the severity of the condition, the doctor may recommend physical therapy following the surgery.

Contact us, Los Angeles’s best team of board-certified plastic hand surgeons, to schedule your consultation and learn how to best treat your symptoms of trigger finger. If you have not yet been diagnosed but feel you may have many if not most of the above symptoms, you should see a board-certified hand surgeon to obtain a proper diagnosis.

Why Are My Fingers Locking Up?

Are your fingers locking up? Do you suffer from a peculiar situation in which your finger(s) become stuck in a bent position that eventually pops back into place? For some this catch and lock position may last a considerable amount of time, often causing pain ranging in severity.

This problem is a classic case of a phenomenon known as trigger finger. It’s called “trigger finger” because it mimics the mechanics of a trigger on a gun; it starts out in a relaxed normal position, moves out of place, and then straightens back into the normal position.

What causes my finger to get stuck?

If you use your hands often, especially if you are performing a gripping motion, then you are at more risk of developing trigger finger. An example is a construction worker who constantly works with tools that require a firm grip.

Research has shown that women are more susceptible than men to experience trigger finger. Certain medical condition such as rheumatoid arthritis, hyperthyroidism, and diabetes also may play a role in the reason why your fingers are locking up.

Treatment of Trigger Finger

Before treatment of trigger finger takes place, you must understand the basics behind the situation. Trigger finger is a result of an inflamed sheath, which is where your finger connects to the palm of your hand. When this becomes inflamed, it narrows the passageway for your tendon to move back and forth. If this passageway is severely narrowed, then the tendon has a chance of staying in the locked position for a while.

Treatment of trigger finger often begins with implementation of a splint to help straighten out your affected finger(s). The splint is often paired with anti-inflammatory medication to help relieve the swelling and help your finger return to its normal functioning position.

You can read the issue of trigger finger in full detail through your Los Angeles hand surgeon who has experience in treating a variety of hand-related disorders.