What Is Trigger Finger? (Stenosing Tenosynovitis)
Trigger finger, also known as stenosing tenosynovitis, is a painful condition of hand and fingers characterized by snapping movement of the fingers due to snuggly fitted tendons through the wrist tunnel.
As you try to straighten the finger, the tendon becomes momentarily stuck at the mouth of the wrist tunnel and finger becomes locked in bent position, then on further straightening, finger snaps as the tendon gets freed through the tight area. This usually causes pain and catching of the fingers.
The thumb can sometimes also be similarly affected and in such cases, it is referred to as a Trigger Thumb.
What Causes Trigger Finger?
The specific cause of trigger finger is often unclear, but people who perform repetitive griping movements are more susceptible to this condition.
When a person suffers from trigger finger, there is swelling and inflammation occurring around the tendons which are attached to the fingers.
Who Is More Likely To Suffer From Trigger Finger?
Trigger finger can affect persons of all ages, but it more often appears between 40 to 60 years of age.
Women more often affected develop trigger finger than men.
People suffering from Diabetes, Rheumatoid arthritis, Psoriatic arthritis, Amyloidosis, Tuberculosis and Hypothyroidism are also more prone to suffer from trigger finger
When Should I Suspect That I May Be Have Trigger Finger?
One should consider the diagnosis of a trigger finger if he/she has the following signs and symptoms:
- Pain in the palm and fingers.
- Difficulty in finger movements.
- Locking of fingers in a bent position when trying to straighten the fingers.
- There is stiffness in the fingers which tends to be more severe after a period of inactivity. (e.g. in the morning)
- On feeling the fingers, there is a lump or nodule felt along the line of a tendon
How Can Trigger Finger Be Treated?
Trigger finger can be treated in several ways, depending on the severity of the disease. The the common treatments for trigger finger:
- Immobilization of the fingers for brief period.
- Ice application for pain and inflammation.
- Heat therapy.
- Splinting the affected finger.
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID’s).
- Local injection of steroid around the tendon.
If the above measures fail and the condition doesn’t respond to injections of steroid, then surgical intervention may be considered. It consists of removing the inflamed and scarred tissue to widen the opening of wrist tunnel so that the tendon can slide through easily.
With the recent advances in medical technology, there are now quite a number of new treatment options available to patients.
For patients who are still suffering despite other treatments, The Pain Relief Clinic offers a number of highly effective solutions for trigger finger.