People throw around the term “trigger finger” casually. Little did these people know it’s an actual condition that can be extremely painful. Trigger finger is the common name for a condition medically known as stenosing tenosynovitis. It gets its name from how the affected finger can get stuck in a bent position, which is very much like how your fingers are when pulling a trigger. In this blog post, we focus on what trigger finger is, its symptoms, and the kind of trigger finger treatment options.
What is Trigger Finger?
Trigger finger is a condition in which one of your fingers gets stuck in a bent position. It’s caused by a narrowing of the space within the sheath that surrounds the tendon in the affected finger. This narrowing makes it difficult for the tendon to slide easily, leading to the finger getting stuck in a bent position. Trigger finger can occur in any finger but is more common in the thumb, index, and middle fingers.
What Causes Trigger Finger?
Currently, the exact cause of trigger finger is unknown, but it is believed to be caused by repetitive use of the affected finger or thumb. Overuse of the affected finger or thumb is a common cause of trigger finger, and this can be from activities such as typing, playing a musical instrument, or gripping a tool for long periods of time. This repetitive use can cause the tendon to become inflamed, which can lead to the narrowing of the space in the sheath.
An underlying medical condition, such as diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis, can also cause trigger finger, as these conditions can contribute to the inflammation and swelling of the tendons. Injuries such as a blow to the affected finger or thumb can also cause trigger finger.
Symptoms of Trigger Finger
The main symptom of trigger finger is that your finger will click, snap, or catch as you move it. You may also feel a bump on the palm side of your finger or thumb, along with pain and tenderness in the area. Additionally, your finger may become stuck in a bent position and require you to use your other hand to straighten it out.
Other symptoms include swelling in the affected area, a popping sensation, and stiffness in the finger. You may also find a tender lump located at the base of the affected finger. If you suffer from trigger finger, you may also notice that your grip strength is reduced and that your finger can become stuck in a bent position and will not straighten out.
If you believe you may have trigger finger, it is important to see a doctor to get an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment. Your doctor will likely ask questions about your medical history and may also perform a physical examination to check for signs of inflammation or other tendon issues. Additionally, they may order imaging tests such as an X-ray or MRI to get a better look at the affected area.
How is Trigger Finger Treated?
Trigger finger is usually treated with a combination of rest, splinting, and anti-inflammatory medications. Resting the affected finger or thumb can help reduce the inflammation and allow the tendon to move more freely. Splinting the affected finger can also help reduce the inflammation and keep the finger in a straight position. Anti-inflammatory medications can also help reduce the inflammation and pain associated with trigger finger. If these treatments do not work, a doctor may recommend a corticosteroid injection or surgery to release the tendon from the sheath.
Trigger Finger is a condition that can cause pain, swelling, and stiffness in the affected finger. It’s essential to identify these symptoms as early as possible to avoid further complications. It’s also worth noting that trigger finger is a progressive condition, which means that it may worsen over time if left untreated. Therefore, it is important to seek medical advice if you are experiencing any of the symptoms associated with trigger finger.
For any hand or wrist-related injuries and conditions, it’s best to consult with a professional you can trust. North Florida Hand & Wrist Center takes pride in providing exceptional care and treatment in a friendly and welcoming environment. Our skilled physicians and hand specialists have privileges at Orange Park Medical Center, St. Vincent’s Clay, Baptist Beaches, and several ambulatory surgical centers. If you’re ever in need of trigger finger treatment or wrist injury diagnosis, we’re here to help. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.