What is Trigger Finger?

Trigger finger is a condition where a finger gets stuck in a bent position and then pops straight with a sudden snap, like pulling a trigger. It is caused by a problem with the tendons that bend the finger, typically due to a buildup of scar tissue that makes it difficult for the tendon to glide smoothly through the sheath that surrounds it. Symptoms include pain, stiffness, and a popping or clicking sensation. Treatment options include rest, splinting, physiotherapy, steroid injection and surgery.

Causes of Trigger Finger

Trigger finger is caused by a problem with the tendons that bend the fingers. This can happen when the tendons become irritated, inflamed, or develop a buildup of scar tissue. This nodular scar on the tendon can catch on the roof of the tendon sheath that it glides through, causing a painful popping or clicking sensation.

There are several factors that can increase the risk of developing trigger finger, including:

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Repetitive hand movements or gripping, such as in people who frequently use hand tools or play musical instruments
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Medical conditions such as arthritis, diabetes, and gout
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Age, as the condition is more common in people over 40
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Gender, as women are more likely to develop Trigger Finger than men
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Previous hand or wrist injuries

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Trigger Finger Symptoms

In severe cases, the affected finger may be locked in a bent position and unable to straighten completely. If you experience any of these symptoms, it is important to seek urgent medical attention to determine the underlying cause and receive appropriate treatment.

The main symptoms of Trigger Finger are:

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Pain or tenderness at the base of the affected finger, especially when you try to straighten it
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Stiffness in the affected finger, especially in the morning or after periods of inactivity
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A popping or clicking sensation when you move the affected finger
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A tendency for the affected finger to get stuck in a bent position and then suddenly pop straight, like pulling a trigger
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A lump or bump at the base of the affected finger

Next Steps

Get in touch with us to find out more about the procedure. Simply give us a call or contact us using the form on our contact page.

How long after Trigger Finger surgery can I drive?

In general, avoiding driving for the first 72 hours after Trigger Finger surgery is recommended while you are still feeling the effects of anaesthesia and pain medication. After that, you should be able to drive as long as you are able to do so safely.

When is Trigger Finger bad enough for surgery?

Surgery for Trigger Finger is usually considered when conservative treatments, such as rest, splinting, steroid injection or physiotherapy, have failed to relieve the symptoms. Surgery may also be recommended if you have a persistent case of Trigger Finger that is causing significant pain, affecting your ability to perform daily activities, or if the affected finger is locked in a bent position and unable to straighten.

How long does Trigger Finger surgery take to heal?

Most people are able to return to normal daily activities of living, within a few days of the surgery. Returning to work will vary, depending on your role. Manual workers may have to modify duties and avoid heavy lifting for days or weeks after surgery. Afull recovery from Trigger Finger surgery can take several weeks or more, and you may need to continue to wear a splint or engage in physiotherapy to help the affected finger heal properly.

Can Trigger Finger return after surgery?

It is uncommon for Trigger Finger to return after surgery; however, to minimise the risk of Trigger Finger returning, it's important to follow proper post-op care and engage in physiotherapy or other exercises.

Book a consultation for more information and to be advised