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Texting Thumb

Treatment for Texting Thumb in Cincinnati

Texting thumb is a form of trigger finger and is caused when the tendon in the thumb becomes inflamed. This can lead to pain, clicking, and decreased motion in the thumb. Fortunately, the hand and wrist specialists at Beacon Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine can help patients overcome texting thumb through effective treatment.

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What is Texting Thumb?

Texting thumb, also known as trigger thumb or stenosing tenosynovitis, is caused when the flexor tendon becomes inflamed or thickened. The flexor tendon of the thumb passes through the palm by way of a tunnel called the tendon sheath and is held in place by bands of tissues called pulleys. When the thumb moves, the tendons pass through the pulleys. When the pulley becomes inflamed or thickened, it makes it more difficult for the tendon to glide through. This is often caused by repetitive motion, such as texting on a smartphone.1

Causes of Texting Thumb

For most people, texting thumb is caused by repetitive motions. This is why a condition formerly known mostly as trigger thumb has earned this new nickname: people are using their thumbs more with the popularity of smartphones and texting. Other potential causes of stenosing tenosynovitis may include:

    Diabetes
    Arthritis
    Previous thumb injuries
    Any repetitive motion, like playing a musical instrument or gripping tools often2

Treatment for Texting Thumb

Non-Surgical Treatment

At Beacon Orthopaedics, our goal is always to recommend the least invasive treatment possible to alleviate a patient’s symptoms. In the case of texting thumb, this may include:

    Rest
    Behavioral modifications: using a different finger to text
    Splinting
    Physical therapy
    Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
    Steroid injections

Surgery for Texting Thumb

In rare cases, surgery may be the best treatment for texting thumb. During this procedure, called tenolysis, the pulley that blocks the tendon from moving is released. Beacon has two ambulatory surgery centers and the Clifton Hand Surgery Center in partnership with TriHealth.

Contact Beacon Orthopaedics

If texting thumb or trigger finger is a problem for you, we can provide you with a treatment solution. Contact us at Beacon Orthopaedics to schedule a consultation with a hand and wrist expert.

1 American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Trigger Finger. Available: https://orthoinfo.aaos.org/en/diseases–conditions/trigger-finger/. Accessed January 14, 2022.
2 Kaiser Permanente. Trigger Finger. Available: https://healthy.kaiserpermanente.org/health-wellness/health-encyclopedia/he.trigger-finger-care-instructions.uh3464. Accessed January 14, 2022.