Let’s start with some simple questions!
Do you feel stiffness in the finger after waking up in the morning? Or do you feel trouble in bending or straightening the finger?
If so, you might be soon a sufferer of trigger finger which is one of the most typical causes of hand pain found in adults. The condition results in restricted finger movement and is tough to straighten and bend.
Know more about the condition here!
In simple terms, it is defined as a condition where a patient feels pain and swelling at the finger base. Stenosing tenosynovitis is the medical term for trigger finger, where more than one finger may get affected. The affected finger gets snapped or produces a clicking sensation when tried to get extended from a clenched position. The procedure resembles the trigger of a gun when launching fire, therefore referred to as trigger finger.
The tissues which are involved in bending and straightening of the finger in hands and arms include the tendons (which is the fibrous connective tissue of muscles and bones), pulley (which is the ligament holding the tendons).
Tendons are surrounded by a sheath of tissue known as synovium enabling the tendon to glide easily. Trigger finger rises when the inflammation constricts the space within the sheath surrounding the flexor tendon, that connects the forearm muscles to bones.
Signs & Symptoms
Mild at initial stages, the symptoms of a patient may get worse with time. The condition occurs in the morning when you try to grasp something or try to straighten the finger.
The condition gets identified if the following signs occur:
- Stiffness in the finger, specifically in the morning
- Painful clicking or snapping sensation when the finger is bent or straightened
- Strain or a bump can be seen in the palm at the affected finger’s base
- Affected finger locks or catches in a bent position, popping up straight
- You will find it difficult to straighten the affected finger
Who are at Higher Risks?
The condition is generally linked to age and some existing medical conditions like diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, etc. What causes the trigger finger, however, is not known till the present.
People who are more involved in repeated overuse of fingers are prone to condition as this can cause compiled wear-and-tear at the link between A1 pulley and flexor tendon. With time, this could cause swelling and soreness of the flexor tendon, resulting in developing the trigger finger.
When to Go for Doctor’s Consultation?
Though the condition is not very serious, you should seek the doctor’s help if the finger joint is found hot and inflamed. Don’t go for any delay as this can be a sign of infection. Or else, you have to face pain and inconvenience. The doctor will analyze if the condition could be treated with any of the non surgical treatment for trigger finger available.
You will be asked about the full medical history before carrying a clinical examination of hands. The health professional will analyze the austerity of the trigger finger and the condition will be graded in different sections.
Go for Trigger Finger Treatment
You will be mainly suggested 3 options for treating trigger finger:
- Non-surgical and non-invasive
A patient will be advised to take a course of oral non-steroid anti-inflammatory medication, in succession with some hand therapies, splinting, or activity adjustments. These work as a natural treatment for trigger finger for those who are experiencing it the first time or are at earlier stages.
- Non-surgical and invasive
An injection directly in the flexor tendon sheath is given. How it works is by fixing the inflammation at the A1 pulley site and eases the trigger finger. Recurrence is always a possibility in this trigger finger treatment option. You can go for this one when non-invasive treatments fail to work.
- Surgical Procedure
The surgical procedure is conducted when your condition doesn’t respond to any of the home treatment for trigger finger performance. This will involve the release of the pulley through a small skin cut at the base of the digit. Trigger finger rarely recurs after the surgery and that is why it is more commonly preferred by doctors.
What kind of health providers should be seen?
A hand surgeon is the first recommendation who already has experience in managing such conditions of hand, wrist, and fingers. They are skilled and expertise in handling the stuff and will be a helping hand. Some physiotherapists can provide hand therapy and splints, which work as one of the best natural remedies for trigger finger during earlier stages. In the case of surgery, expert hand surgeons do perform cautious operations to release the trigger finger. Always go through the risks and complications of surgical procedures before plunging into any final decision.