About Trigger Finger

Trigger finger limits finger movement. When you try to straighten your finger, it will lock or catch before popping out straight. Trigger finger is a condition that affects the tendons in your fingers or thumb.

Cause

The cause of trigger finger is usually unknown. There are factors that put people at greater risk for developing it.

  • Trigger fingers are more common in women than men.
  • They occur most frequently in people who are between the ages of 40 and 60.
  • Trigger fingers are more common in people with certain medical problems, such as diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Trigger fingers may occur after activities that strain the hand.

Symptoms

Symptoms of trigger finger usually start without any injury, although they may follow a period of heavy hand use. Symptoms may include:

  • A tender lump in your palm
  • Swelling
  • Catching or popping sensation in your finger or thumb joints
  • Pain when bending or straightening your finger

Stiffness and catching tend to be worse after inactivity, such as when you wake in the morning. Your fingers will often loosen up as you move them.

Sometimes, when the tendon breaks free, it may feel like your finger joint is dislocating. In severe cases of trigger finger, the finger cannot be straightened, even with help. Sometimes one or more fingers are affected.

Examination & testing

Your orthopedic specialist  can diagnose the problem by talking with you and examining your hand. No other testing or X-rays are usually needed to diagnose trigger finger.

Surgical treatment

Trigger finger is not a dangerous condition. The decision to have surgery is a personal one, based on how severe your symptoms are and whether nonsurgical options have failed. In addition, if your finger is stuck in a bent position, your doctor may recommend surgery to prevent permanent stiffness.

Surgical procedure

The goal of surgery is to widen the opening of the tunnel so that the tendon can slide through it more easily. This is usually done on an outpatient basis, meaning you will not need to stay overnight at the hospital.

Most people are given an injection of local anesthesia to numb the hand for the procedure.

The surgery is performed through a small incision in the palm or sometimes with the tip of a needle. The tendon sheath tunnel is cut. When it heals back together, the sheath is looser and the tendon has more room to move through it.

Source: HealthSource Library: http://healthsource.baylorhealth.com

Our trigger finger patients come to us from Dallas, Plano, Frisco, McKinney, Prosper and adjacent areas.

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