Trigger Finger Treatment in Cincinnati
Trigger finger is a condition the hand and wrist specialists at the Clifton Hand Surgery Center are seeing more often lately. This is because a common cause of trigger finger or trigger thumb is smartphone use. Trigger finger can be painful, but our experts can recommend proper treatment to alleviate patients’ symptoms.
What is Trigger Finger?
Trigger finger or trigger thumb is formally known as stenosing tenosynovitis, and is a condition where the finger or thumb becomes stuck in a bent position. Trigger finger can occur in more than one finger at a time.
The bones of the fingers are attached to the muscles of the forearm by long cords called flexor tendons. These tendons pass through the tendon sheath, a tunnel extending from the palm to the fingers, where tissues called pulleys hold the tendons in place. When a person has trigger finger, a pulley has become thickened or inflamed, making it difficult for the flexor tendon to glide through the tendon sheath smoothly. Sometimes the tendon also becomes inflamed and may develop a small surface nodule. This causes a painful sensation of catching or popping when the nodule passes through the pulley. When trigger finger is severe, the finger can become locked and stuck in a bent position.1
Causes of Trigger Finger
Trigger finger is usually caused by repetitive and/or forceful use of the thumb or fingers, and can be a common injury in occupations where strong grasping or gripping is necessary, like musicians, farmers, and industrial workers. Trigger finger is also more common in people with certain medical conditions, including:
- Rheumatoid Arthritis2
At Beacon Orthopaedics, we are seeing an increase in cases of trigger finger trigger thumb linked to smartphone use.
Symptoms of Trigger Finger
Symptoms of trigger finger or trigger thumb may include:
- A sensation of popping or clicking when the finger or thumb is moved
- A nodule (bump) where the base of the finger lies in the palm
- Locking or catching in a bent position, often suddenly “popping” straight
- Finger or thumb locking in a bent position3
Treatment for Trigger Finger
At Beacon Orthopaedics, we always begin with the least invasive treatment for trigger finger or trigger thumb. Non-surgical treatment for this condition may include:
- Avoiding repetitive or forceful finger activities
- Physical therapy
- NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications)
- Steroid injections
Surgery for Trigger Finger
If less invasive treatments for trigger finger are not providing the patient with relief, our hand specialists may recommend surgery for trigger finger. This procedure is called tenolysis, and is sometimes referred to as trigger finger release. During this procedure, the surgeon releases the pulley that is impeding tendon movement, allowing the affected tendon to glide more easily through the sheath.
Contact Beacon Orthopaedics
If you are suffering from trigger finger or trigger thumb, the hand specialists at Beacon Orthopaedics in Cincinnati can help. To schedule a consultation with an expert, please contact us.
1 American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Trigger Finger. Available: https://orthoinfo.aaos.org/en/diseases–conditions/trigger-finger/. Accessed November 15, 2021.
2 Cleveland Clinic. Trigger Finger. Available: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/7080-trigger-finger–trigger-thumb. Accessed November 15, 2021.
3 Mayo Clinic. Trigger Finger. Available: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/trigger-finger/symptoms-causes/syc-20365100. Accessed November 15, 2021.