Trigger finger is caused by tendonitis at the base of your fingers. Your finger becomes stuck in the bent position, and it is painful to extend your finger. Although the problem is startling, trigger finger is a common problem and is easy to manage.
Minimize Your Grip
Some cases of trigger finger can be attributed to occupations or hobbies where you are required to repetitively grip objects. Over time, gripping can increase inflammations in the tendons. For example, if you are a bus or truck driver, you may want to invest in driving gloves to help you gain more traction around the steering wheel, while taking some pressure off your hands. If you knit or crochet, you can add grips to your needles and hooks. No matter what activity you do that requires gripping objects for an extended time, take frequent breaks to exercise your hands by stretching and bending your fingers.
In minor cases of trigger finger, over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medicine may help reduce pain and inflammation enough for your finger to return to normal on its own. Many instances of trigger finger are managed with steroid injections, since the underlying problem usually resolves within a few weeks. The injection is placed at the base of your affected finger, and once the inflammation subsides, you can extend and bend your finger without it becoming stuck.
Part of reducing inflammation in your finger is to reduce or eliminate using your finger until it has healed. Your doctor may want you to rest the affected finger with splinting to keep it immobilized and extended. You may need to have your finger splinted for several weeks before all the inflammation has subsided, and you can attempt returning to your normal activities.
Try Medical Procedures
Depending on the extent of problems you experience and whether you have frequent episodes of trigger finger, you may want to try a different approach for ongoing relief. Creating an opening in the tendon sheath can allow the tendon to move freely and prevent it from becoming stuck. Your surgeon may choose either a percutaneous release or open approach. Percutaneous release is a non-surgical approach. During the procedure, a needle is guided with the help of imaging techniques to open the tendon sheath. A traditional open approach can also be used. The surgeon will make an incision in your hand to access the tendon sheath.
For more information, contact Omaha Orthopedic Clinic & Sports Medicine PC or a similar location.