Understanding Trigger Finger Surgery
Trigger finger is a condition that occurs when one or more of your fingers catch or lock when you bend them. Also known as stenosing tenosynovitis, trigger finger develops when the tough, fibrous bands of tissue known as tendons in your hand become inflamed. Our hands enable us to perform a variety of fine motor skills in our daily activities, meaning trigger finger can significantly impact your quality of life. To regain the function of your hands, you may need trigger finger surgery.
Symptoms and Causes of Trigger Finger
Some signs and symptoms that indicate you may be suffering from trigger finger include:
- Inability to straighten the affected finger
- Finger stiffness, especially after periods of inactivity
- Popping or clicking sensation upon movement
- Pain and tenderness in the affected finger
Trigger fingers are often the result of the narrowing of the space within the sheath that surrounds the finger’s tendon. This narrowing causes the tendon to become irritated and swollen and may be the result of other underlying medical conditions, like arthritis or diabetes, or from a forceful hand activity.
Some risk factors that may place you at an elevated risk for developing trigger finger include:
- Sex: more common in women than men
- Repetitive movement of fingers and thumb
- Age: between the ages of 40 and 60
Trigger Finger Treatment
Once diagnosed with a trigger finger, your physician at Motion Orthopaedics will first recommend nonsurgical treatment methods. These conservative techniques may consist of the following:
- Pain medications
- Steroid injections
- Physical therapy
- Ice application
Surgery is only considered when conservative treatments have failed to relieve your symptoms or symptoms have persisted for more than six months.
Trigger Finger Surgery
There are two types of trigger finger surgery:
- Open trigger finger release surgery
- Percutaneous trigger finger release surgery
What to Expect Before Your Procedure
Before your trigger finger surgery, your physician will conduct a physical assessment, take a medical history, and administer blood tests and any other examinations to ensure you are healthy enough for surgery. You will also discuss with your surgeon which type of surgery is optimal for your specific situation. Your physician will also review the risks, potential complications, and the expected outcome of the procedure.
What to Expect During Your Procedure
In an open surgery, your hand and wrist specialist will administer local anesthesia to the hand. Next, they will make a small incision at the location of the A1 pulley, which is situated at the base of each finger and holds the flexor tendons to the bones. Once the incision is made, the surgeon can gain access to the A1 pulley and divide it to relieve pressure on the tendon.
In a percutaneous procedure, your surgeon will insert a needle into the finger to alleviate pressure from the tendon sheath. The percutaneous option is minimally invasive and may offer less pain and faster recovery times.
Both surgeries should take about 30 minutes and are done as an outpatient procedure, meaning you can return home the same day as the surgery.
What to Expect After Your Procedure
After trigger finger surgery, you will likely experience some pain, swelling, and bruising. To regain full finger mobility, your physician will recommend some finger exercises or hand therapy. You may return to normal activities in two to four weeks, but recovery may take longer in those who have had surgery on multiple fingers.
Contact Motion Orthopaedics
If you or a loved one is suffering from trigger finger, it may be time to seek treatment. At Motion Orthopaedics, we understand how much this condition can affect your day-to-day life. If you want to get your life back without basic motions causing you discomfort, contact Motion Orthopaedics. We offer a range of treatments for trigger fingers, both nonsurgical and surgical.