Trigger finger is a condition where too much inflammation around the flexor tendons will cause the finger to be stiff, painful or even lock when you open or close the finger. Trigger finger can be caused by injury, overuse, or repetitive activity. It can also be associated with other medical conditions such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and gout.
The flexor tendons that bend the finger joints are held in place by ligaments called pulleys. Trigger finger occurs when the space the tendon passes through becomes constricted because of tendon inflammation and thickening of the A1 pulley. The tendon has difficulty passing through the smaller space which causes the finger to click, catch, or even become stuck in one position.
Trigger finger is diagnosed in the office after thorough discussion and physical exam with your orthopedic surgeon. X-rays are usually taken to rule out arthritis in the finger.
Trigger finger release is a short and minimally invasive procedure. The surgery involves a small incision at the base of the finger to expose the A1 pulley. The pulley is incised which releases the pressure from the tendon and cures the triggering.
In most cases, you can begin moving and using the hand immediately after surgery. Heavy lifting should be avoided until sutures are removed 2 weeks after surgery. If the trigger finger was severe prior to surgery, it may take time to recover full range of motion, and hand therapy may be needed.
**Disclaimer: Treatment recommendations may vary depending on your true diagnosis. Always follow the recommendations of your orthopedic provider.