Arizona Orthopedic Surgery Solutions for Trigger Finger
What is Trigger Finger
Trigger finger, also known as trigger thumb, is when a finger’s joint becomes fixed in a bent position to where it resembles the action of pulling a trigger. Most often, those with routine, strenuous hand activity, diabetes, and arthritis experience trigger finger. Symptoms are a general inflexibility and sensitivity to the afflicted finger(s) with feelings of cracking and snapping when the finger is released from the bent position. It’s normal to experience the strongest trigger finger symptoms in the morning, especially if sleeping on your side or stomach where the hands and fingers are jammed or smushed underneath the body.
Trigger Finger Diagnosis
After talking about your personal and family medical history, your doctor will ask when the symptoms first occurred, their frequency, and the level of discomfort or pain they cause. A doctor will analyze the finger(s) with the symptoms by checking for triggering when attempting to close and open the fingers as well as inflammation and sensitivity of the afflicted finger’s (fingers’) tendon sheath. Following the physical examination, the doctor will be able to grade the severity of your trigger finger condition
Trigger Finger Treatment - Nonsurgical
A doctor will always look to nonsurgical treatment to remedy trigger finger. It is best to stop performing any activities which amplify the symptoms and prevent correction of the condition. Specific stretching exercises can be used to reduce the rigidness and enhance flexibility of the afflicted digit(s). Using a finger splint or hand brace can help prevent sleeping with the fingers in positions causing painful triggering the following morning. A Cortisone injection can be used to help alleviate the inflammation and pain in more severe cases.
Trigger Finger Treatment - Surgical
Surgery is recommended for more severe cases to avoid lasting loss of digit function. The operation is known as trigger finger release or tenolysis. The procedure relieves the A1 pulley, which connects the nodule to the flexor tendon, which is keeping the tendon from moving. When the A1 pulley is released, the flexor tendon is able to move more effortlessly within the tendon sheath. Surgeons use a local anesthetic injection to block the nerves for surgery, which makes the operation an outpatient procedure, meaning the individual undergoing the surgery is able to return home the same day. Surgeons use a small incision in the palm to release the A1 pulley, otherwise the tip of a needle is used, making the procedure rather less invasive.