Hand Pain

Trigger finger

trigger finger

What is trigger finger?

  • The tendons on the palm side of the hand (flexor tendons) are held in place by strong bands of tissue which are shaped in arches over the tendon.
  • These form a tunnel with the surface of the bone, which the tendons slide through..
  • When the tendon or sheath becomes swollen, it can no longer slide easily through the sheath and it can become bunched up to form a nodule.
  • This produces locking or clicking when finger of thumb is moved.

What causes trigger finger?

  • The exact causes of trigger finger is unknown
  • Women are more commonly affected than men
  • More common in adults between 40-50
  • Previous injury to the hand
  • Frequently seen in patients with long term conditions such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, under active thyroid and carpal tunnel syndrome

What are the signs and symptoms?

  • Pain at the base of the affected finger or thumb when you move it or press on it
  • A small nodule or swollen section of tendon at the base of the affected finger or thumb
  • Stiffness or clicking when you move the affected finger or thumb, particularly first thing in the morning

How do I manage this problem?

  • Mostly trigger finger improves on its own over 6 months
  • Anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen could help reduce swelling and pain
  • Rest: avoiding activities which aggravate the symptoms could help

What other treatments are available?

  • Corticosteroid injection into the tendon sheath may help ease the symptoms completely
  • Sometimes you may need more than one injection

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