Trigger finger, or stenosing tenosynovitis, is a condition that causes the fingers and thumb to get stuck in a bent position. Other than getting stuck in a bent position, the fingers may feel stiff or snap/pop when you try to move them. The base of the finger or thumb may feel sore, and gripping or grasping hand motions can cause pain.
Trigger finger is a painful condition, and it can limit the use of your hands. Anyone who is experiencing symptoms needs to be checked by a medical professional.
Who Gets Trigger Finger?
People at risk for trigger finger are those with occupations, hobbies, or tasks that require the excessive and forceful use of the fingers. For instance, people who work on a computer the whole day, musicians, cleaners, and plumbers are at risk. Those with arthritis, gout, or diabetes are also at risk. The risk also increases with age as people over the age of 40 tend to develop this condition. Today, with the overuse of smartphones, the risk is high even among younger age groups.
What Exactly Causes It?
Your fingers are made up of a complex network of bones and connective tissue. For instance, tendons, which attach muscles to bones are also present in your fingers, and they give your fingers flexibility and the ability to straighten, grip, and grasp smoothly. The tendons in your fingers actually pass through a sheath, which helps keep them in place. With trigger finger, the tendon is irritated or inflamed due to overuse or repetitive motions, which makes passing through the sheath challenging. A lump may form at the base of your finger, as the tendon becomes bunched into a small lump. What was once a smooth motion now becomes rough, and as a result, the fingers and thumb can get stuck in a bent position. Straightening your fingers and thumb won’t be easy.
Trigger finger that causes the fingers and thumb to be locked in a bent position is usually a severe case. Initially, you may only experience a popping or snapping sensation, but as it progresses, as you continue to use your hands forcefully and without proper treatment, your fingers and thumb could remain locked in the bent position. A doctor can diagnose trigger finger just by examining your hand and detecting the lump of a bunched-up tendon. Treatment for trigger finger may vary based on the severity of the condition.
Hand and Wrist Surgeons in North Dakota
Not being able to use your hands properly is more than an inconvenience – it is disabling. The sooner you seek treatment for your hand problem, the sooner you can use your hands without issues. Our hand surgeons at The Bone & Joint Center are renowned for their expertise in treating hand and wrist problems. We regularly treat patients with trigger finger, relieving their pain and restoring the normal function of their hands. Should you need hand surgery, our surgeons can perform trigger finger surgery to increase space for your flexor tendon. We also make hand therapy available to our patients who are recovering from hand surgery.
If you have questions about our procedures or would like to make an appointment with a hand surgeon, call (701) 946-7400 / (866) 900-8650 now. We look forward to your call!