Trigger Finger is a condition when one of the fingers is caught in a bent position. This condition can affect any finger and can occur on more than one finger at a time. This condition is also known as stenosing tenosynovitis.
Trigger finger occurs when inflammation narrows the space in the sheath that surrounds the tendons in the finger. In severe cases, the finger may remain locked in a bent position.
Symptoms Trigger finger
Reported by the Mayo Clinic, symptoms of trigger finger from mild to severe include:
- Fingers feel stiff, especially in the morning.
- Crackling sensation when moving the finger.
- Pain or lump at the base of the finger affected .
- The finger is locked in a bent position and can suddenly straighten again. The finger is locked in a bent position and cannot be straightened.
Trigger finger is usually more pronounced in the morning when you grip an object firmly or when you straighten your finger. If the affected by trigger finger feels hot and inflamed, seek medical help immediately. These are signs of infection.
Cause Trigger finger
The fingers are made up of several small bones. These small bones are connected by tendons. When the muscles contract, the tendons pull on the bones to move the fingers.
The flexor tendons extend from the forearm to the muscles and bones of the hand through a tunnel-like sheath. If this tunnel narrows, the tendons won’t be able to move as easily and cause.
When that happens, the tendon becomes irritated and swells making movement very difficult.
There are several factors that can increase the risk of This includes:
- Repetitive gripping: Jobs or hobbies that involve using the hand repeatedly and performing long-term gripping can increase the risk of trigger finger.
- Certain health problems: People with diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis have a higher risk of developing trigger finger.
- Gender: Trigger finger is more common in women.
- Carpal tunnel syndrome surgery: Trigger finger can be a complication associated with surgery for carpal tunnel syndrome, especially during the first six months after surgery.
- Some jobs that can increase the risk of trigger finger include farmers, industrial workers, musicians.
Diagnosis does not require complicated testing. Your doctor or healthcare provider will make a diagnosis based on your medical history and physical examination.
During the physical exam, the doctor will ask you to open and close your hands. This is to identify areas that hurt, smooth movement, and ensure locked hands. The doctor will also feel the palms to see if there are lumps.
Trigger finger treatment varies depending on the severity and duration. According to the Healthline page, some anti-inflammatory drugs can relieve inflammation. These medications include ibuprofen, naproxen, prescription anti-inflammatory drugs, and steroid injections.
Apart from drugs, some home treatments that you can do include:
- Take a break from repetitive activities for four to six weeks.
- Wearing a brace or splint to limit movement and rest the hand.
- Applying heat or ice to reduce swelling.
- Soak your hands in warm water several times to relax the tendons and muscles.
- Gently stretch fingers to increase range of motion.
- If home treatments and medicines don’t work, surgery may be needed to treat this condition. The surgeon will make a small incision near the base of the affected finger, then open the narrow part of the tendon sheath.
Pain in the palms after the procedure is common. Elevating your hand above your heart can help reduce pain and swelling, as explained on the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons‘ website.
Although the incision will heal within a few weeks, it may take 4 to 6 months for swelling and stiffness in the hand and finger or thumb to go away completely.
If stiffness, swelling, or pain persists after surgery, your doctor may recommend seeing a hand therapist.
Left untreated, trigger finger can make it difficult to type, button clothes, or insert keys into locks. It can also affect your ability to grip the steering wheel or hold tools.
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