Trigger finger, also called stenosing tenosynovitis, occurs when a finger or thumb goes into a bent position and stays that way. If you can move the finger, it seems to snap rather than move smoothly.
Though a trigger finger most often affects the ring finger and thumb, you can develop the problem in any finger.
You develop a trigger finger when the protective sheath surrounding the finger’s tendon becomes inflamed. The inflammation interferes with the normal movement of the tendon through the sheath, resulting in a trigger finger.
If the condition goes untreated, the ongoing inflammation leads to scarring, tissue thickening, and the formation of tendon nodules. These problems make it more difficult to move the finger.
Your risk for trigger finger increases if you:
Women are 2-6 times more likely to develop a trigger finger than men.
In addition to the bent finger, you may experience:
Many people end up with multiple trigger fingers. It’s also common for both hands to have trigger fingers.
Your treatment depends on the severity of your trigger finger and how long you’ve had it. In the early stages, your Beaufort Orthopaedic Sports & Spine doctor may prescribe anti-inflammatory drugs, stretching exercises, and a splint to rest the tendon and keep the finger extended.
During your treatment, it’s important to avoid any activities that demand repeated gripping. You should also stop using hand-held machinery that causes vibration.
Your provider may also inject steroids near the tendon to reduce inflammation. In many cases, this treatment restores movement and lasts a long time.
Another treatment option, called percutaneous release, uses a needle to break apart the scar tissue that limits tendon movement. During this procedure, your provider uses a local anesthetic and ultrasound imaging to guide the needle to the damaged tendon sheath.
When your trigger finger becomes stuck in a bent position, your provider at Beaufort Orthopaedic Sports & Spine recommends surgery to release the damaged area of the tendon sheath.
If you develop a trigger finger, call Beaufort Orthopaedic Sports & Spine or book an appointment online for early treatment.