Dr. Paul Nielsen
Orthopaedic Hand and Upper Extremity Surgeon
Date: November 18, 2019
What Are the Symptoms of Trigger Finger?
- Catching of the fingers as you bend them down
- Sometimes severe enough that it locks bent down
- Pain in the palm at the base of the fingers
- Soreness with gripping or heavy use of the hand
What Causes Trigger Fingers?
- The flexor tendon that bends the finger down travels through tunnels on the palm side of the finger as you bend your finger
- The flexor tendon develops swelling from inflammation, overuse, diabetes, genetics, or unknown reasons
- The swollen tendon catches on the tunnels as you try to bend and straighten your finger
What Are the Treatment Options for a Trigger Finger?
- Steroid injections around the swollen tendon reduce the swelling and eliminate catching for the majority of patients
- Occasionally splinting the finger straight at night can help
- Surgery involves a small incision to open the tunnel so that the tendon and finger can glide smoothly
- The surgery is usually performed with just local anesthesia in about 10 minutes
- No IV, no fasting, and no recovery from anesthesia medicines
What Is Recovery Like After Surgery?
- Patients normally are in a soft dressing for a few days after surgery
- Sutures are removed 10-14 days after surgery
- Light use of the hand is encouraged immediately after surgery
- Heavy use of the and is allowed about a month after surgery
- Hand therapy is usually not required
- Recurrence is uncommon
- Other fingers can develop trigger fingers later, however
Suspect you may have trigger finger? Make an appointment by calling New West Sports Medicine & Orthopaedic Surgery at (308) 865-2570. No referral required.
About the Author
Paul Nielsen, MD is an orthopedic surgeon specializing in hand & upper extremity surgery at New West Sports Medicine & Orthopaedic Surgery in Kearney, Nebraska