Trigger Finger Causes & Treatments

 

In this video, Dr. Bennett explains the causes of trigger finger and then describes trigger finger treatments.

Summary of Dr. Bennett’s Trigger Finger Video

Hello. My name is Dr. J. Michael Bennett. I’m a member of the Fondren Orthopedic Group. I am a board-certified orthopedic surgeon who’s subspecialized in sports medicine and surgery of the shoulderelbow, and knee, as well some hand surgery.

Today, we’re going to talk about a very common pathology that we see in a lot of patients and that’s called the trigger finger or a locking finger.

Causes of Trigger Finger

Most patients will present with a severe pain with flexion of the finger where they cannot bend their finger due to pain or locking sensation at the base of the finger. It’s very common in patients that work a lot with their hands or it can be seen in patients that are diabetics.

Sometimes, it will be associated with some sort of trauma to the finger at the tendon itself. But often times, they’ll get a locking sensation in the finger followed by pain, and then they’ll usually feel a pop. If you palpate the base of the finger, sometimes, you’ll feel a nodule there and usually, that just means the tendon is swollen.

So each of these tendons is going through a number of tunnels in the finger that allow you to bend and extend the finger. They’re called pulleys, and when the tendon gets inflamed, it has to squeeze through that pulley. This is a very crude picture here of a hand, and it’s just showing you one of the pulleys here that’s involved. This is actually the A1 pulley. It’s called the A1 pulley.

And so what happens is that you have an inflamed area of the tendon that creates a nodule. And that nodule, if a tendon get swollen, it has to slide in and out of that little pulley. As that tendon gets crammed through that pulley, it gets locked and it gets stuck, and it can become painful.

Trigger Finger Treatments

Sometimes, we can treat this with anti-inflammatories and it can go away in very mild cases. Sometimes, the doctor may even inject a little bit of steroid right along this tendon sheath here to see if that’ll help decrease the size of the tendon, help with the inflammation, and allow the tendon to glide a little bit easier.

But if you continue to have locking or triggering, the third option is actually going in there and doing a release, where you do make a little incision in the region at the palm here, and you release that pulley. You actually make a cut there. When you release the pulley, it opens up this sheath here. That sheath gets opened up, and it allows the tendon to glide back and forth without getting caught up into that pulley.

It’s important that if you do decide to try an injection that you do not get multiple back to back injections. You want to give yourself plenty of time before you a get a second injection because steroid injections aren’t necessarily good multiple times back-to-back. You usually want to give yourself at least a few months before you get a repeat injection because it can be associated with tendon ruptures. However, that should be discussed between you and your doctor. This is a very successful procedure in regards to taking care of the locking issue with the tendon.

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to go to our website at www.orthopedicsportsdoctor.com or give us a call at our office at (281) 633-8600. Thank you very much.

Call Us for an Evaluation

Call us at 281-633-8600 for an appointment at our Sugar Land office or 713-234-3152 for an appointment at our Houston office.  You can also click the Book an Appointment button at the top of the page.

Author
Dr. J. Michael Bennett

You Might Also Enjoy...

Sports Medicine Pre-Surgery Procedures

If you have surgery in your future, it’s not unusual to be a little anxious — and Dr. Bennett understands that. This post and the videos on our website can dispel your anxiety by helping you understand just what to expect.

You Don't Have to Live With Chronic Pain

Chronic pain is a common medical problem in the United States, and it gets even more common as you get older. The good news: Dr. Bennett offers an array of treatment options for chronic pain. Here’s how he can help you.

Who's At Risk for Shoulder Injuries?

Shoulder injuries aren’t uncommon, especially as you get older. But like other orthopedic issues, shoulder injuries tend to occur more often in people with specific risk factors. Find out what they are in this post.

Tips for Avoiding Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a major cause of wrist pain, especially among people who use their hands and wrists a lot. The good news is, there are a few simple things you can do to reduce your risks of CTS. Here are eight to get you started.

What is PRP and How Can It Benefit You?

Platelet-rich plasma, or PRP, offers plenty of benefits for people with sports injuries, joint damage, and other musculoskeletal problems. Here’s the scoop on this innovative and effective treatment, including how it’s “made” and what it treats.

What Every Athlete Should Know About Their ACL

ACL tears are among the most common knee injuries, affecting athletes of all ages and all levels. Knowing how the ACL “works” and how it’s injured might prevent injuries so that you can avoid the sidelines.