Learn the causes, symptoms and treatment options for trigger finger.
Today's post is the third in a series that shares information from a recent H2U seminar lead by Naveen Setty, MD. Participants learned about a number of hand conditions and their treatment options. We are focusing today on the portion of the seminar that discussed the causes and treatment options for trigger finger.
What is trigger finger?
Trigger finger occurs when a finger experiences the same repetitive motion over a long period of time. Swelling around the tendons can result, causing the finger to lock in a bent position and then snap back into place. Trigger finger usually occurs in the morning and is more common in diabetics. It can also occur in multiple fingers and can lead to joint stiffness.
What are the stages of trigger finger?
Trigger finger can worsen over time and present the following symptoms:
- Stage one: Pain in one or more fingers.
- Stage two: One or more fingers will catch and then unlock without much effort.
- Stage three: One or more fingers lock. Unlocking them takes force and some effort.
- Stage four: One or more fingers are locked and can not be straightened.
How can trigger finger be treated?
Non-invasive treatment options for trigger finger are always considered first. Physicians often recommend the use of a splint in order to keep the effected finger in an extended position over a period of time. Anti-inflammatory medications or injected steroids will help to reduce swelling in less serious cases. However, steroids are less effective in diabetic patients.
Minimally-invasive surgery can correct trigger finger and be done using local anesthesia in a physician's office. A needle is used to release the locked finger.