Also known as stenosing tenosynovitis and flexor tendonitis, trigger finger is a condition where the fingers or thumb of the hand snap or lock and may become caught in a bent or fixed position. The affected finger may suddenly straighten out with a quick snap.
Trigger finger is caused by the inflammation of a substance known as tenosynovium. Tenosynovium is the protective sheath that surrounds the tendons in your fingers. It enables the tendons to glide smoothly within the sheath when a finger or joint is bent and straightened. When inflammation is present, the tendon is unable to glide smoothly causing the finger to catch itself in a bent position. In longstanding cases the tendon itself can become abnormal.
With longstanding experience in with this type of issue, Dr. John C. Kagan can diagnose trigger finger and other hand and wrist conditions to determine proper treatment. Treatment options will vary depending on the severity of the condition.
Non-surgical treatment options often include:
- Treating any underlying medical conditions that may be the causing problem for trigger finger such as arthritis.
- Immobilizing the affected finger with a splint for a specific period of time enabling the joint to rest.
- A cortisone injection in the fibro osseous tunnel to relive inflammation and triggering.
- Strengthening exercises for the affected finger
- Anti-inflammatory drugs to remove pain and inflammation
If conservative treatments are unsuccessful, Dr. Kagan may advise trigger finger surgery. This minimally invasive procedure consists of a small incision, about 3/8 of an inch in length being made to the affected area to release the tightened portion (pulley) of the flexor tendon sheath. This will release the stress on the flexor tendons, and allow for a quick recovery.