Trigger finger, medically referred to as stenosing tenosynovitis, occurs in either the fingers or thumb and causes for them to get stuck in a bent position and pop when straightened, somewhat like a trigger being released. Hence the name trigger finger. This condition can often times be painful and in severe cases can cause the fingers to lock up in a bent position.
Trigger finger is caused when the sheath that surrounds the affected fingers tendon is narrowed. This condition is most commonly found in people that have jobs or hobbies that involve constant gripping actions. It is also found to be more common in people that are diabetic and women.
How Do You Diagnose Trigger Finger?
When diagnosing trigger finger, there is no use of X-rays or lab tests. Dr. Tahernia will first do a physical examination of the hand and fingers and ask you about the level of pain you feel when your finger is in certain positions. It may be the case that the finger affected is swollen with a noticeable bump over the joint, or it is locked in a bent position. Depending on the severity of the trigger finger diagnosed, the best treatment will be chosen for you.
Treating Trigger Finger:
When treating trigger finger, the first thing to do is to limit the activities that aggravate your finger. Dr. Tahernia may use a splint to help restrict the joint movement during your path to recovery. If even after these efforts the trigger finger is still painful or locked in a bent position, anti-inflammatory medications may be prescribed, or a steroid injection may be necessary. After trying all the conservative measures with still no signs of improvement, Dr. Tahernia will recommend surgery to release the tendon sheath and restore the movement to the finger or thumb.
Trigger Finger Recovery:
Trigger finger recovery can vary from patient to patient and is also dependent on the type of treatment that was required. Most patients recover from the condition rather quickly through rest and limiting their daily activities that lead to the trigger finger. In more severe cases recovery can be 6-8 weeks. Anti-inflammatory medication and in some cases pain medications will be prescribed to help during your recovery.