Trigger Finger Solution
Stenosing tenosynovitis, commonly known as “trigger finger” or “trigger thumb”, involves the pulleys and tendons in the hand that bend the fingers. The tendons work like long ropes connecting the muscles of the forearm with the bones of the fingers and thumb. In the finger, the pulleys are a series of rings that form a tunnel through which the tendons must glide, much like the guides on a fishing rod through which the line (or tendon) must pass. These pulleys hold the tendons close against the bone. The tendons and the tunnel have a slick lining that allows easy gliding of the tendon through the pulleys. Trigger finger/thumb occurs when the pulley at the base of the finger becomes too thick and constricting around the tendon, making it hard for the tendon to move freely through the pulley. Sometimes the tendon develops a nodule (knot) or swelling of its lining. Because of the increased resistance to the gliding of the tendon through the pulley, one may feel pain, popping, or a catching feeling in the finger or thumb. When the tendon catches, it produces inflammation and more swelling. This causes a vicious cycle of triggering, inflammation, and swelling. Sometimes the finger becomes stuck or locked and is hard to straighten or bend.
What Causes Trigger Finger?
Trigger finger occurs when the sheath that protects the tendons of the finger becomes inflamed and prevents normal motion from occurring when the finger is bent. This inflammation can occur as a result of repeated hand use over several years. Other factors like diabetes, arthritis, and carpal tunnel can also increase your risk o developing trigger finger.
Treatment for trigger finger / stenosing tenosynovitis
The goal of treatment in trigger finger/thumb is to eliminate the catching or locking and allow full movement of the finger or thumb without discomfort. Swelling around the flexor tendon and tendon sheath must be reduced to allow smooth gliding of the tendon. The wearing of a splint or taking an oral anti-inflammatory medication may sometimes help. Treatment may also include changing activities to reduce swelling. An injection of steroid into the area around the tendon and pulley is often effective in relieving the trigger finger/thumb.
Surgical Treatment of Trigger Finger
If non-surgical forms of treatment do not relieve the symptoms, surgery may be recommended. This surgery is performed as an outpatient, usually with simple local anesthesia. The goal of surgery is to open the pulley at the base of the finger so that the tendon can glide more freely. Active motion of the finger generally begins immediately after surgery. Normal use of the hand can usually be resumed once comfort permits.
Recovering from Your Trigger Finger Surgery
Some patients may feel tenderness, discomfort, and swelling around the area of their surgery longer than others. Occasionally, physical therapy is required after surgery to regain better use of the hand.
Trigger Finger Treatment Cost
The cost of your trigger finger treatment can vary based on the type of treatment performed. During your consultation, Dr. Morwood will diagnose the extent of your trigger finger, determine the best course of action for your treatment, and let you know what the expected cost of your trigger finger treatment in Monterey will be.
SCHEDULE A CONSULTATION WITH DR. MORWOOD
Dr. Morwood is a board-certified plastic surgeon and a fellowship-trained hand surgeon. He has the skill and experience required to provide you with the expert surgical care you need for your trigger finger.
Please call (831) 646-8661 to set up a consultation.