A lot of people’s daily tasks involve the use of hands. That’s why when you overuse them and get trigger fingers, life suddenly stops, and you experience inconvenience. In this article, we explain the important things to know about trigger fingers.
What is a trigger finger?
Trigger finger is what you call a finger that suddenly got stuck in a bent position. It mostly occurs in the ring finger and the thumb, but it can also happen to multiple fingers at a time.
How does trigger finger occur?
The flexor tendons are the tissues that allow your fingers to bend. When your finger is forced to move or is repeatedly used, its tendon will become inflamed. When the tendons swell or thicken, it will be difficult for them to make the gliding or the bending of fingers happen.
If you have the following symptoms, you may be experiencing a trigger finger:
- Your fingers become stiff, especially in mornings
- You experience soreness or find a bump (or nodules) at the end of your fingers
- You experience pain when you snap, click, or try to straighten your bent finger
- There is a pop or a click when you try to move your fingers
- You cannot fully move your fingers because they are locked up
When your case turns severe, you will experience more morning stiffness. It would also be difficult to grasp firmly onto things or straighten your fingers.
Trigger finger treatment: What your options are
The right treatment for your finger depends on the severity of the condition, but to give you an idea, here are the trigger finger treatment options you should know.
Have a rest
When you experience a trigger finger, stop anything you are doing. Pause and have a rest. When your finger is inflamed or swollen, you need to rest it for a few minutes for it to function normally again.
Use a splint
If having rest is not enough for your case, your doctor will recommend that you use a splint. It will help retain your fingers in their steady and upright position.
Take NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatories)
There are medications your doctor can prescribe to help you treat the inflammation. Take note, however, that you need to see a doctor first to know the right dosage and frequency of this medication intake. These NSAIDs can relieve you from the pain, but they cannot fully relieve the swelling that traps your tendon.
Another way to reduce inflammation is by injecting steroids in your tendon sheath. This steroid can only be given by healthcare professionals.
Percutaneous means “through the skin,” which is another type of in-clinic procedure where the hand doctor uses a needle to help loosen the tendon in your affected finger. It will help the finger function back to normal.
Undergo a surgery
In the event that none of the treatment above worked, the next option you have is going for a minor surgery conducted by a hand surgeon. In this procedure, the surgeon creates a small lesion at the end of your finger. Through this opening, the surgeon will correct the function of the sheath around your tendon. The surgery will allow the A1 pulley—blocking the tendon movement—to release.
Often, a trigger finger will go away on its own, but over time, it will become more frequent and more painful. If your case gets severe, don’t rely on personal treatment. See your doctor immediately.
If you’re experiencing any discomfort in your hands or wrists, consult with our orthopedic hand specialists in North Florida for early diagnosis and treatment!