You can't miss the signs of trigger finger because a finger or thumb bends down toward your palm and stays that way. At SOUTHERN WESTCHESTER ORTHOPEDICS AND SPORTS MEDICINE, David Lent, MD, FAAOS, and Eric Spencer, MD, FAAOS, have extensive experience treating trigger finger. If you seek treatment shortly after the problem develops, they can usually heal the problem with nonsurgical therapies. To schedule an appointment today, use the online booking feature or call the office in Yonkers or Mamaroneck, New York, or the Riverdale neighborhood of the Bronx in New York City.
Trigger finger (stenosing tenosynovitis) occurs when your thumb or a finger bends and stays in that position. If you can straighten the finger, it doesn’t move smoothly; it tends to snap up and down.
You can develop this condition in any finger. However, it most often affects the ring finger or thumb.
Your risk of developing trigger finger increases if your work or hobby requires repetitive gripping movements. Additionally, the condition occurs more commonly in people with diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis.
A trigger finger develops due to an inflamed sheath. The sheath is a protective tissue that covers the tendon and allows smooth movement. Inflammation in the sheath interferes with finger movement. As a result, you develop trigger finger.
Chronic inflammation can scar and thicken the tissues without treatment, and tendon nodules may develop. If these problems occur, it becomes more difficult to move the affected finger. In severe cases, you can’t straighten the finger.
In addition to having a bent finger, you may experience:
Trigger finger can also develop in several fingers at the same time.
The best treatment depends on the severity of your trigger finger and how long the finger has been in the bent position.
During the early stages, your treatment includes anti-inflammatory medicines, stretching exercises, and a splint. The splint promotes healing by resting the tendon, preventing gripping movement, and holding your finger in an extended position.
Your provider may also inject steroids to reduce the inflammation. For most people, these conservative measures restore normal movement.
If your finger is locked in a bent position or conservative treatments don't help, your provider may recommend a procedure called percutaneous release.
During this procedure, your provider applies a local anesthetic and uses ultrasound to guide a needle to the damaged sheath. Then they use the needle to break apart scar tissue.
If you develop a trigger finger, don't wait to seek help. To schedule an appointment, call SOUTHERN WESTCHESTER ORTHOPEDICS AND SPORTS MEDICINE or use the online booking feature today.