What Can Fix My Trigger Finger?

What Can Fix My Trigger Finger?

The term “trigger finger” may conjure images of gun ranges or the Old West, but in fact this common condition — stenosing tenosynovitis — gets its name from the snapping or clicking sound or painful popping generated when you try to move the affected finger.

Trigger finger results when the sheath surrounding the tendons that connect the muscles and bones in your fingers becomes inflamed. This makes it difficult for the tendon to slide and creates irritation. Over time, you develop scar tissue that makes it even more difficult for the tendon to move as it should when you try to bend or straighten your finger.    

Fortunately, trigger finger is a treatable condition. At Carl N. Williams Jr. M.D. Hand and Plastic Surgery in Las Vegas, Nevada, we diagnose and treat many conditions affecting your hands and fingers — including trigger finger. Here, we explain the condition and the treatments that can help fix it.  

What are the signs of trigger finger?

Several conditions can affect your fingers and cause pain, stiffness, or tenderness when you try to move them. Some of the signs that point to trigger finger as the cause of your discomfort include:

You can develop trigger finger in any finger as well as in your thumb.  

What puts me at risk of trigger finger?

Anyone can develop a trigger finger, and your risk increases if you engage in activities that involve repetitive or forceful movement of your fingers and thumbs or that require repeated gripping. This is why people with certain jobs, like musicians and assembly line workers, are among the most affected. 

Being female increases your risk of trigger finger, as does being between 40 and 60 years of age. Your risk is also higher if you have certain medical conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis or diabetes. In addition, if you’ve had carpal tunnel surgery, you have an elevated risk of developing trigger finger.  

Is there a way to treat trigger finger?

Yes! Different treatments exist that can fix your trigger finger. Before creating a treatment plan, however, your doctor diagnoses your condition by examining your hands and fingers and discussing your symptoms. 

The right treatment for your trigger finger depends on the severity of your condition. In mild cases, over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen, may help with the pain and inflammation. 

Your doctor may also recommend resting your finger, wearing a splint, and engaging in gentle stretching exercises. In some cases, a steroid injection may help reduce inflammation to help improve tendon movement so you can avoid surgery. 

For more advanced cases of trigger finger, or if your condition doesn’t respond to more conservative therapies, your provider may recommend trigger finger release surgery, or tenolysis. 

During this procedure, your surgeon may either create a small incision or use the tip of a needle to loosen the tissue responsible for blocking the affected tendon. This allows the tendon to glide smoothly so you can move your finger.    

For more information about trigger finger or to set up a consultation to review your condition, schedule an appointment online or over the phone at Carl N. Williams Jr. M.D. Hand and Plastic Surgery in Las Vegas, Nevada.

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