Trigger finger, also known as stenosing tenosynovitis, is a condition in which one of your fingers gets locked in a bent position. A trigger finger occurs due to inflammation in the flexor tendon. Flexor tendons facilitate the bending movement in your fingers, and they attach the muscles of the forearm to the finger bones. The flexor tendons pass through a tunnel called the tendon sheath, which is located in the palm and fingers. The tendon sheath allows for smooth movement when the finger bends and straightens.
Hence when there is an inflammation in the flexor tendon, the space within the tendon sheath in the affected finger gets narrowed, resulting in a trigger finger.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?
Symptoms of a trigger finger include:
- Finger stiffness, after periods of inactivity such as in the morning
- A popping or clicking sensation with finger movement
- Tenderness or a lump in the palm at the base of the affected finger
- Finger may be locked in a bent position, which you are unable to straighten
WHAT ARE THE CAUSES AND RISK FACTORS?
Some risk factors of trigger finger are:
- Medical conditions such as diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis increase your risk of getting a trigger finger
- Repeated gripping activities increase your risk of getting a trigger finger
- Gender (women have a higher risk of getting a trigger finger)
WHAT IS THE DIAGNOSIS?
A history of the injury and a physical examination of your hand will be conducted by the Doctor. He will check on the motion of your hand and get you to bend your fingers. He will look out for a the swelling of your tendon sheath and if any pain is present.
WHAT ARE THE TREATMENT OPTIONS?
Depending on your condition, treatment options will vary. Nonsurgical treatment options include:
- Resting your hand
- Wearing a splint at night
- Gentle stretching exercises
- Medications to relief pain and reduce inflammation, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (ibuprofen)
- Steroid injections such as corticosteroid injected directly into the tendon sheath to reduce inflammation
Should nonsurgical treatments fail to alleviate your trigger finger symptoms, surgery may be recommended. During surgery, the part of your tendon sheath that is affected will be cut via small incisions made at the base of the affected finger.