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At Cedars-Sinai Marina del Rey Hospital, our team of experienced plastic surgeons are well versed in finding patients who suffer from trigger finger the most suitable treatment option, offering both non-invasive and minimally invasive surgery approaches.
Trigger finger, also known as Stenosing Tenosynovitis, is the most common hand and finger disorder known to cause disability and pain. More specifically, this condition diminishes normal finger movement and causes a stiff, bent position. With this condition, sudden straightening of the finger can cause a great deal of pain. Trigger finger occurs as a result of inflammation of the tendons in the finger. Tendons are strips of tissue that join bones and muscles together. Normally, movement of the tendon through the sheath that covers it is done easily and with no pain at all, but in the case of trigger finger, when the flexor tendon from our finger becomes irritated and swollen, it makes movement through the sheath more difficult and painful.
Consequently, for a patient with trigger finger, flexing and extending the finger can force the already irritated tendon through the narrow sheath, causing a popping sound, as if releasing a gun or a trigger. Although the exact cause of trigger finger is not known, studies have shown that this condition is more likely to develop in people whose daily activities involve repetitive finger movements (musicians, programmers, etc). Women, especially between 40 and 60 years old, and people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis or diabetes, are more likely to develop trigger finger.
Surgery is sometimes recommended for trigger finger, especially for cases that did not respond to other types of treatment. There are two types of surgery for trigger finger and both take less than 30 minutes and are carried out under local anesthesia:
Trigger finger treatment depends on its persistence and severity.
The symptoms of trigger finger are more pronounced in the morning or late at night, and can be more easily observed while trying to grab an object firmly. Patients with trigger finger usually report the following symptoms:
The diagnosis of trigger finger usually involves a physical examination. Your doctor will examine your hand and fingers to check for mobility and degree of stiffness. Your doctor will also evaluate your pain levels and check for any lumps at the base of the fingers or palm. Effective communication is important in the diagnosis of trigger finger. Make sure to answer all of your doctor's questions as thoroughly and accurately as possible. No lab tests or X-rays are necessary to diagnose trigger finger.
There are certain factors that can increase the risk of developing trigger finger, such as:
As a general rule, the actual causes of trigger finger are not known. However, there are certain medical conditions that have been associated with the development of trigger finger like rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, or even gout. Repetitive gestures that involve strong gripping, and participating in certain types of sports are thought to be associated to the development of trigger finger.
Patients can use the following alternative treatments to help alleviate symptoms. However, it should be noted that none of these treatments have been proven to work, and you should always seek medical advice before trying them:
As with any conditions that affect finger and hand mobility, the best way to prevent the development of trigger finger is to avoid overusing the hand. If you cannot avoid overusing the hand and you begin to experience stiffness and swelling in the fingers, make sure you get plenty of hand and finger rest. Alternating the repetitive activities with pauses can help keep you avoid getting inflamed fingers or irritated tendons. Over-the-counter drugs like ibuprofen can be an effective method to reduce inflammation before it becomes worse.
Do you suspect you might be suffering from trigger finger? You can always learn more about this condition and how to treat and cure it by getting in touch with our well-trained specialists at Cedars-Sinai Marina del Rey Hospital.
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