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How does trigger finger manifest and how is it treated?

If you suffer from trigger finger, your finger or fingers get stuck when bent.

To diagnose trigger finger is quite simple and doesn't require elaborate testing. Trigger fingers are painful and they are caused by inflamed tendons. Your doctor makes the diagnosis based on a physical exam asking you to open and close your hand, checking the painful areas, smoothness of motion, evidence of locking and examining your palm to see if there is a lump present.

Efficient treatments for trigger fingers

There are different types of treatments for trigger fingers depending on its severity and duration. Non-invasive treatments may include:

  • Rest - activities that require repetitive gripping, grasping or the use of vibrating hand-held machinery have to be avoided until the condition improves.
  • Wearing a splint - wearing a splint at night keeps the affected finger in an extended position, limits the joint movement and helps the tendon to rest.
  • Stretching exercises - specific, gentle exercises are recommended to help maintain the mobility of the finger.

Other efficient procedures

If your symptoms are severe or if conservative treatments do not bring the expected results, your doctor might suggest:

  • Medication - nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs may relieve the pain but are unlikely to relieve the swelling constricting the tendon sheath or trapping the tendon.
  • Steroid injections - to reduce inflammation and allow the tendon to move freely again. This is usually effective for a year or more in most people treated.
  • Percutaneous release - is performed under ultrasound control, so the doctor can be sure that he opens the tendon sheath without damaging the nerves or the tendon.
  • Surgical procedure - this is the ultimate solution when nothing else is working. Through a small incision near the base of your affected finger, the surgeon will cut open the constricted section of the tendon sheath.

Disclaimer: We do not assume responsibility for the use of the provided information or its interpretation. Our efforts are towards providing current and reliable information; however these should not be considered, or used as a substitute for diagnosis or treatment.

Source: https://www.cedars-sinai.edu/Education/Medical-Library/