Hand & Wrist Orthopedics in the Larger San Francisco Bay Area
Trigger finger, also known as stenosing tenosynovitis, is a condition that affects the tendons in the fingers. The tendons are designed to glide through the muscles, but when trigger finger occurs, a swollen knot grows on the tendon. This creates pain in the finger that is often accompanied by a popping or catching feeling in the finger or thumb. Every time the tendon is snagged on something, it causes more pain and swelling. This creates a cycle where every time the pain occurs, it gets worse.
The causes of trigger finger are unclear. Patients with rheumatoid arthritis, gout, and diabetes are more vulnerable to it, but otherwise, there are no known causes.
Trigger finger at a glance:
- Trigger finger is a knot in the finger tendon that makes it difficult and painful to move the digit.
- Trigger finger begins with pain at the base of the thumb or finger. When the finger becomes “locked” it can feel like a problem in the middle knuckle.
- Surgical treatment for trigger finger has instant results.
Symptoms of Trigger Finger
Trigger finger usually starts with discomfort at the base of the thumb or finger. As the condition gets worse, this area may start to thicken. Eventually, the finger will lock when trying to move it. It can feel like this is a problem in the middle knuckle of the finger, but the true cause is at the tendon lining the finger.
Treatment for Trigger Finger
In order to treat trigger finger, we must smooth out the tendon so it can freely move through the finger once again. Some treatment options include:
- Wearing a splint to keep the finger still while it heals
- Taking oral or injected anti-inflammatory medications
- Changing activities to reduce finger strain
Before considering surgery, be sure to explore more conservative treatments with your doctor. Make sure you have anti-inflammatory medications cleared by your physician before taking them.