Trigger Finger 

Wrist/ Hand

Trigger Finger 

Trigger finger, also known as stenosing tenosynovitis, is a condition that affects the tendons in your fingers. Tendons connect muscles to bones, and in the case of trigger finger, the sheath around the tendon in your finger becomes inflamed and thickened. These narrowing limits the smooth gliding of the tendon, causing the finger to become stuck in a bent position and become trapped when trying to straighten it.

What are the Symptoms?

The most common symptoms of trigger finger include:

What are the Causes & Risk Factor?

The exact cause of trigger finger is not fully understood, but several factors are believed to contribute to its development:

Predisposing factors of trigger finger/ People at risk

Some factors can increase your risk of developing trigger finger:

  • Occupations: People whose jobs require frequent hand and finger movements are more prone to this condition. 
  • Certain medical conditions: Mostly rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes are risk factors. 
  • Age-related changes: Tendons and their sheaths can degenerate with age, making them more susceptible to inflammation, especially in female. 
  • Previous hand injury: A previous injury to the finger or wrist can increase the risk. 

Diagnosis of trigger finger/ People at risk

A diagnosis of trigger finger usually includes:

A health care professional will examine your affected finger for flexion and extension. They will test for grasping or locking sensation when moving the finger. They will palpate the base of the finger to identify any tenderness or prominent nodules.

  • X-rays: X-rays can help identify bone abnormalities in the finger, but they don’t directly see soft tissues like tendons. 
  • Ultrasound: Ultrasound imaging can visualize the tendon and its sheath, allowing for a more detailed examination and possibly identifying any thickening or fluid accumulation. 

Treatment options for trigger finger/ People at risk

The goal of trigger finger treatment is to reduce inflammation, improve tendon gliding, and regain full range of motion of the finger. Here’s an overview of common treatment options:

This is the first line of treatment for most cases of trigger finger and includes: 

  • Splint: Wearing a splint at night to keep the finger in a straight position and prevent further inflammation. 
  • Activity modification: Avoiding activities that aggravate symptoms, such as repetitive gripping or forceful bending of fingers. 
  • Anti-inflammatory medications: Over-the-counter pain relievers (ibuprofen, acetaminophen) can be used to manage pain and swelling. 
  • Corticosteroid injections: Corticosteroid injections can be given directly into the inflamed tendon sheath. 
  • Corticosteroid Injections: Injections of corticosteroids directly into the inflamed tendon sheath can be very effective in reducing inflammation and improving finger mobility. However, repeated injections. However, repeated injections are not recommended due to potential side effects such as tendon weakening or fat pad atrophy. 

Surgery is usually considered if conservative treatment fails to provide significant improvement after a long period of time (usually several months). Here is the most common surgical procedure for trigger finger: 

  • Trigger finger release: This outpatient surgery involves making a small incision in the palm at the base of the affected finger. The surgeon then divides the thickened portion of the ligamentous sheath (A1 pulley) while compressing the tendon, allowing the tendon to slide smoothly again. 

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