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