Trigger Finger

Do you know what trigger fingers are? This is a common condition seen among hand surgeons. Essentially, a trigger finger is a swollen tendon along the palm side of the finger that causes pain. It prevents the finger from bending and straightening smoothly and normally. 

The tendon becomes so swollen that it resembles a trigger as it gets pushed out from the finger. It causes a lot of pain and can lead to loss of movement and even permanent disability.

Trigger finger is a common, relatively minor disorder of the hand. It can be a source of incredible frustration to patients and doctors alike. It tends to come back and is only mildly treatable. Patients often have a hard time accepting that other than conservative measures; there’s not much that can be done about the condition.

What Causes Trigger Finger?

The real answer is that nobody knows what causes a trigger finger. In some cases, it may be due to a sports injury. In others, it could be due to a minor injury to the finger or even a traumatic delivery. The finger gets injured, and the tissues heal in a way that makes it hard for the tendon to work well.

The condition is more frequent in older people and women, although you don’t have to be elderly or female to get a trigger finger. It is a common condition, and it is estimated that more than fifty percent of people worldwide will suffer from a trigger finger during their lifetime.

How is Trigger Finger Treated?

If the trigger finger is at an early stage, it may be possible to treat it with over-the-counter pain relievers and rest, but in most cases, surgery is required. A hand surgeon will examine the condition and advise on the best course of treatment.

The safest and most effective treatment method is surgically cutting the swollen tendon down to its normal size. To do this, the surgeon will make a small incision on the palm side of the finger and dissect (remove) the swollen, inflamed tissue. The procedure is very effective, and recurrence is low.

Another standard treatment is a splint, a small device worn over the finger to hold it in a straight position. This treatment is relatively effective, especially the first time it is used. However, the splint tends to lose effectiveness over the long term. The splint can be replaced, or a new one added.

A trigger finger can be treated in a variety of ways. The simplest one is to wait for it to clear on its own. This is, however, not a good solution because the inflammation and pain will persist for a long time and may never go away completely. There simply is no permanent cure for the trigger finger. However, it is also true that the trigger finger can clear up on its own in weeks or months.

The Bottomline

One of the most frustrating things about trigger finger is that it often returns. If left untreated, the trigger finger can cause permanent damage to the finger. This can have severe consequences and cause a lot of damage.

Patients should understand this and seek treatment for trigger finger as soon as the symptoms appear. The best thing with trigger fingers is to be treated early before the tendon gets too swollen for treatment.

Work with the best hand specialist in Jacksonville, FL, for your trigger finger. We will take care of you here at North Florida Hand and Wrist. Led by Dr. Richard D. Curtis and Dr. Jose Baez, expertly-trained hand and wrist surgeons, they are committed to providing patients with the best care possible. Get in touch with us.