What Is Trigger Finger And Thumb?

Trigger finger and thumb is also known as stenosing tenosynovitis. It is a common disorder of the hand which causes painful snapping or locking of the fingers or thumb. Your finger or/and thumb gets stuck in a bent position and then straighten with a snap. Your finger may become locked in a bent position for severe case.

Trigger Finger

Trigger Finger

What Are The Causes Trigger Finger And Thumb?

The exact cause of trigger finger or thumb is not readily evident. In many cases, the condition may be the result of repetitive strain of the area due to work or hobby activities. Tasks that require monotonous grasping or prolonged use of tools for example scissors, screwdrivers, etc. which press firmly on the tendon sheath at the base of the finger or thumb may irritate the tendons and result in thickening of the tendons themselves or the tendon sheath. Trigger finger may also be associated with conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, gout or metabolic disorders such as diabetes that produce changes in the connective tissues and synovium. Around 2 in 100 people develop trigger finger.

What Are The Treatments Trigger Finger And Thumb?

Non Surgical Treatment

Conservative non-surgical treatment involves avoiding or modifying the activities that have caused the inflammation. Oral anti-inflammatory medications are used to reduce the inflammation or discomfort. Steroid injection may be administered directly into the tendon sheath to reduce the soft tissue swelling.

Surgical Treatment

Release of trigger finger or thumb

What is to be done during surgery?

In the event when it does not respond to conservative treatment, surgery may be recommended. Surgery is performed where a horizontal incision is made in the palm at the base of the affected finger or thumb. The surgeon will release the first annular band, relieving the constriction of the tendon as it passes through the sheath.

What is the rehab after surgery?

The day of the first post-operative visit, patients are instructed on a specific range-of-motion program. Depending on their condition, they may see a hand therapist. Five to seven days later, they are started on a scar massage program which may incorporate use of a “scar conformer” at night. The scar conformer may be made of silicone and places direct, mild pressure over the incision to help minimize scarring and maximize remodeling and healing of the tissues. If a joint contracture was present prior to surgery the patient may be given a splint to help supplement their exercise program and eliminate these contractures.

Immediately following surgery, daily activities are allowed. Heavier or repetitive activities are discouraged. The wound should be kept clean, dry and covered. You do not have to wear a splint, you will be able to change your own dressing, and your doctor will advise you regarding showering.

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