Trigger Finger

Trigger finger is an often painful condition caused by the narrowing of the tendon sheath in the finger. Normally the tendons glide easily through the sheath as the finger moves. When the sheath becomes irritated or swollen, the tendon can become temporarily stuck in the tight space. This can cause pain or a popping and catching sensation leading to further inflammation. As the problem worsens, the finger can become locked and may be difficult to straighten or bend.

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Causes of trigger finger are not always clear but the condition is more common in women than men and occurs most often in patients between age 40 and 60. Medical conditions such as diabetes, gout and rheumatoid arthritis may be associated with the symptoms of trigger finger. People whose work or hobbies require repetitive gripping actions also seem to be most susceptible to this condition. In rare cases trigger finger can also be caused by a congenital defect that forms a nodule in the tendon.

Treatment

Depending on the severity of the condition, we treat trigger finger with rest, splinting or a steroid injection. The goal of treatment is to reduce the swelling of the tendons and tendon sheath, thereby eliminating the problematic catching or locking and allowing for a full and painless range of motion.

Newer minimally-invasive techniques are available to release the narrowing causes trigger finger. These procedures can often be done in the office without the need for a surgical incision or stitches. Surgery can eliminate symptoms associated with this condition, generally as an outpatient procedure that in most cases enables rapid recovery.

If non-surgical forms of treatment do not improve symptoms or your condition is more severe, surgery may be recommended. The goal of surgery is to widen the tendon sheath to relieve the catching caused by the narrowed passage way.