A trigger finger is a condition that happens when one of the fingers is flexed and becomes stuck in that position. When trying to straighten it, the finger clicks and snaps and hence the name, as it resembles a cocking of a gun trigger. This is also called stenosing tenosynovitis, and etiology occurs when swelling and chronic inflammation squeeze and narrow the space around the tendon sheath. In chronic cases, the finger cannot be straightened and remains in that fixed position. Certain occupations involving repetitive gripping or extensive manual labor using the hands are predisposed toward developing a trigger finger. It also seems to be more common in women and certain medical conditions such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, or osteoarthritis. Though any finger can be affected, the thumb is less likely. Symptoms are often worse during cold weather, morning times, or when grasping is required.
What Is Trigger Finger?
In general, it is agreed that fiber tendons connecting the bone to the corresponding muscle, is surrounded by a fibrous sheath that protects the gliding motion of the tendon. When this sheath becomes inflamed, the gliding motion reduces as the sheath thickens and narrows. On examination, a prominent bump can be felt over the finger, which is thickened. Treatment options vary according to the severity. In early cases (assuming no active inflammation or infection) physical therapy including gentle traction on the finger and stretching, can be effective. Localized injection of steroids can decrease inflammation and allow for better physical therapy and occupational therapy. In chronic refractory cases, surgical release of the trigger finger is necessary.
- Anti-inflammatory Medications
- Occupational Therapy
- Finger’s Tendon Release