What Is Trigger Finger?
Trigger finger is a painful condition! Its exact causes are not known! It is a common disorder in the adulthood stages of life! In general it is a condition that is much more prevalent in women than men! It occurs anywhere from 40 to 60 years of age and sometimes earlier! It is often found in those suffering from rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes!
There is usually no notable injury at its onset! But may simply occur after repeatedly using your hand. The onset of symptoms varies! It is an inflammatory condition! It may start by swelling or a tender lump in the palm of the hand may appear. The joints in the finger may begin to become rigid and lock. Or you may experience pain when trying to bend your finger(s) or thumb! More than one finger can be affected at a time! The flexor tendon muscles are located in the forearm above the wrist that actually moves the fingers! As you bend your fingers or thumb they slide through a snug tunnel called the tendon sheath of flexor.
When the tendons thicken this makes it difficult to freely slide through the tendon sheath and results in pain. The symptoms may be more pronounced first thing in the morning! After being idle overnight the finger or thumb may gradually begin to loosen as you move it about. Construction workers, Musicians, Artists, Writers and those who frequently use their fingers are probable candidates!
Although not considered dangerous the condition can be very painful! Your doctor may prescribe an anti- inflammatory medication. Or a possible corticosteroid injection into the tendon sheath of your hand. This may temporary relieve the pain until it heals. Application of ice is recommended to minimize any swelling. Hand Therapy is usually recommended! It is important to take care of your hands!
If the condition persists and the injection fails your doctor may recommend a relatively simple surgical procedure to prevent your fingers from becoming stiff and inflexible! The patient can usually use their hand immediately after the surgery! A small incision is made in order to widen the tendon sheath tunnel. This allows additional room for the finger to mover more freely. As it heals the sheath is looser allowing freedom of movement!
The procedure can be done on an outpatient basis! There is usually a minimum of post operative pain and requires only a few stitches. Recovery is anywhere from 6 weeks to 6 months! See your doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment!
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