Trigger finger is a relatively frequent pathology of the hand characterized by the inability to extend the finger once it is flexed, achieving its extension with a block and/or a snap.
Although the causes of trigger finger are not known, several factors can increase the risk of developing the condition:
Medical conditions: Trigger finger is more common in people with certain medical conditions, such as diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis.
Forceful hand activities: The condition is known to occur after forced use of the fingers and thumb.
Trigger finger treatment encompasses a number of procedures, such as the use of an orthosis, corticosteroid injections, and surgery. These are the most effective trigger finger treatments.
Let’s take a closer look at each of these treatments:
Initial treatment for a trigger finger is generally the following:
Rest: Resting your hand and avoiding activities that make it worse may be enough to solve the problem.
Splint: Wearing a splint at night to keep your affected finger or thumb upright while sleeping can be helpful.
Specific exercises: Gentle stretching exercises can help decrease stiffness and improve range of motion in the digit involved.
Medications: Medications like acetaminophen and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can help relieve pain and inflammation.
Steroid injections: Corticosteroid, or cortisone, is an anti-inflammatory agent that can be injected into the tendon area at the base of the trigger finger. A steroid injection can resolve activation over a period of one day to several weeks. If symptoms do not improve over time, a second injection may be given. If two injections don’t help with the problem, surgery may be considered. Steroid injections are less likely to be effective in patients with diabetes, but they can still help avoid surgery. They can cause a short-term increase in blood sugar, so glucose levels in diabetic patients should be monitored after injection.
If the finger does not improve with non-surgical treatment, surgery may be considered. The decision for surgery will depend on how much pain or loss of usefulness is in the finger. However, if the thumb is locked in a flexed or bent position, surgery is recommended to prevent permanent stiffness.
You might also want to read: Trigger finger surgery
At Harley Street Hospital, we have some of the best specialists to treat your trigger finger. Book an appointment to get a checkup.