How Do You Fix a Trigger Finger?

Your hands are an important part of daily living. They are crucial for completing basic activities like dressing and eating and are involved in work, play, and creativity. When you talk to others, you likely gesture with your hands, and many people express their emotions through touch.

Loss of use can affect your quality of life. Chronic conditions, like a trigger finger, can also create pain and discomfort each day. Reach out to us to learn: how do you fix a trigger finger?

What Is a Trigger Finger?

The medical term for a trigger finger is stenosing tenosynovitis. The condition occurs when there is inflammation along the tendons of the fingers or thumb. This inflammation causes the finger to catch or lock after you bend it.

Surrounding each tendon is a tunnel-like structure called the tendon sheath. The movement of your fingers requires flexor tendons that help you curl your fingers. When the tendon sheath gets irritated or inflamed, it becomes narrow, making it more difficult for the tendon to smoothly glide through it. The condition is painful and creates a physical disability.

The name trigger finger comes from the characteristic symptom in which the finger suddenly snaps or pops as it is bent or straightened. This resembles the action of pulling a trigger.

The affected finger can feel stiff, tender, or sore, and many experience a clicking sensation and pain when the finger moves. Several factors contribute to developing a trigger finger, such as repetitive motions of grasping or gripping and certain medical conditions like diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis.

Treatments for a Trigger Finger

Treatment for a trigger finger depends on a variety of factors, including the severity of the condition and how long you have had it. Dr. Galpern, who is a highly skilled and experienced hand surgeon, considers the factors in your condition before making treatment recommendations.

If the condition is not severe, he may recommend certain types of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) that could help reduce inflammation. After rest and medication, gentle exercises may help you maintain mobility.

When conservative, non-invasive treatments are not successful or if your condition is more severe, other treatments may help. A steroid injection can help reduce inflammation and is typically effective for a year or more. During that time, you may also use rest and therapy to help extend the effectiveness.

When these procedures are not effective, Dr. Galpern will decide on a needle procedure or surgery to break apart the narrowed tendon sheath that is blocking the motion of the tendon.

These procedures typically resolve the pain and discomfort, as well as giving you function back in your hand. However, it is also important to continue to evaluate repetitive motion you may be using that can create a trigger finger in other digits.

Why Do I Need a Hand Surgeon to Fix a Trigger Finger?

Your hand is a complex network that requires an expert who has specialized knowledge and experience in treating the structure, function, and neurological network that controls the hand. A hand surgeon has in-depth knowledge of this intricate anatomy and the expertise to accurately diagnose the condition, identify the underlying cause, and determine the most appropriate treatment.

When conservative options are not successful, you need a hand surgeon with advanced skills in performing delicate procedures that specifically address the hand and fingers. Hand surgeons use precise techniques to open the constricted tendon sheath to get positive results and minimize the risk of complications.

Dr. Galpern is an experienced and skilled hand surgeon who provides comprehensive care to address non-surgical and surgical techniques, but also post-operative care and rehabilitation. This helps to minimize your complications from the condition and the procedures.

The most important goal in treating a trigger finger is to return your hand to as close to normal function as possible. During your consultation, Dr. Galpern will explain the risks and benefits of using conservative or surgical approaches to treatment.

We want you to partner with the medical team so the treatments you experience are part of a customized plan that addresses your needs. You will have regular access to our skilled surgeon and face-to-face interactions with the doctor. While we embrace the benefits that technology can afford us, Dr. Galpern and his medical team value face-to-face interactions and the personal touch. Call now to discuss your needs with our team.

Comprehensive Hand Surgery
Phone(804) 506-3050
2819 North Parham Road Richmond Suite 100, VA 23294 Get Directions