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Trigger Finger

What is Trigger Finger?

Trigger-finger is a condition that involves the tendons of the hand of the fingers. The tendons of the fingers pass through a series of pulleys. Much like a fishing line passes through a series of guide wires on a fishing pole.

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These pulleys offer us a mechanical edge and a solid grip, which is advantageous. Nevertheless, tendons may become irritated, and the pulleys may get thickened. This condition is commonly known as trigger- finger. The symptoms of trigger-finger can often be felt and are frequently associated with a nodule or bump on the finger’s base. In some severe circumstances, it may also be connected to catching or locking a finger. When this happens, it requires manual assistance to obtain a full extension of the fingers. Trigger-finger is often caused by conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, gout, or diabetes, but often the reason is undetermined. If you suspect you may be suffering from trigger-finger, the first thing to do is take anti-inflammatory medications such as Aleve or ibuprofen. These medications assist with easing the pain and also decrease the inflammation around the tendon.

You may also try gentle stretching at home by locking your affected finger together and gradually stretching it out to stretch the tendon and prevent it from locking or firing. If this treatment fails, a corticosteroid injection may be necessary. See your local hand surgeon for diagnosis. The pain of a trigger finger is often decreased and sometimes eliminated by corticosteroid injection.

A minor surgical procedure is a next step if a corticosteroid injection does not work.
There are certain cases where the fingers must be manually assisted to achieve a complete finger extension. Often this results from rheumatoid arthritis, gout, or diabetes, although the reason is often uncertain. The first thing to do if you think you have trigger-finger is to start taking anti-inflammatory drugs. These will help with the discomfort and inflammation in the tendon, which will also aid healing.

To stretch the tendon and avoid it from locking or triggering, you might also try gentle stretching at home by locking your hurting finger together and then stretching it out. If this fails, you should go to your local hand surgeon, who may give you a corticosteroid shot into the region of discomfort at the base of your palm. Injections of corticosteroids reduce pain and, in some cases, eliminate a trigger finger.

If you think you may have trigger-finger, see your doctor for a corticosteroid injection or surgery.