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Trigger Finger (Stenosing Tenosynovitis)
The hands are extremely complex in their structures and functions, which are necessary for many daily actions that we often take for granted. Along with these intricate joints are many conditions that can affect the mobility of the hands, including a condition known as trigger finger.
Trigger finger, which is medically known as stenosing tenosynovitis, is a condition that causes the fingers to catch and stiffen when the individual attempts to perform simple actions of bending and straightening their fingers. Most often affecting the thumb or ring finger, this condition can also cause significant pain when the fingers become locked in place.
What Causes Trigger Finger?
It is possible for anyone to encounter a case of trigger finger in one or more of their fingers on either hand. The catching or locking sensation associated with this condition is the result of inflammation and/or thickening tissue within the finger joint.
Normally, when a person extends or bends their finger, the flexor tendon that allows this motion to occur will pass through the tendon sheath and pulley of the particular finger being moved. This pulley is a band of tissue that wraps around the tendon sheath, and these two components work together to hold the flexor tendon in place as it glides forward and backward during regular finger movements.
If this pulley mechanism becomes inflamed or closed off in anyway, it makes the gliding of the tendon much more difficult, thus causing the tendon to catch and become stuck in place. The finger will usually be unable to fully flex without manual assistance from the other hand to help pull the flexor all the way through the pulley.
Common Sources of Inflammation and Thickening Tissue
Many people with trigger finger develop an issue with their pulley after years of overuse. This is commonly seen in those with careers that involve frequent finger motions, including:
- Factory workers
Trigger finger is also often associated with other medical conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, and gout. All of these medical conditions can lead to swelling of the joints, which can easily affect the hands and fingers.
Risk Factors for Trigger Finger
Anyone can develop a case of trigger finger, though there are a few particular characteristics associated with an increased risk for this condition, such as:
- Repetitive gripping of the hand
- Being female
- Having carpal tunnel surgery
- It is also entirely possible for an individual to never learn the exact cause of their trigger finger.
- Fortunately, this condition is still fully treatable by the professionals at Nevada Orthopedic & Spine Center, even if a direct cause cannot be established.
Treatment Options in Las Vegas & Henderson
Your specialist will begin the treatment process by first assessing the damage already done to the patient’s fingers. For those with only mild to moderate symptoms of trigger finger, non-invasive treatment options can usually prove very effective. These options include:
- Wearing a splint at night
- Modifying finger movements and trying to specifically cut down on repetitive motions
- Taking anti-inflammatory medicines such as ibuprofen
- Receiving steroid injections
Trigger Finger Surgery
If these treatments are not enough to relieve your pain, or if significant damage has already been done to the fingers, then surgery is the next course of action.
Procedures of this type are often minimally invasive, meaning they only require a single small incision at the base of the hand. Once your specialist has their instruments in place, they will be able to remove some of the tissue surrounding the finger’s pulley and tendon sheath. By removing this tissue, your surgeon will be able to restore finger function and mobility that may be fully achieved in only a few weeks following your procedure.
For questions or concerns about your case of trigger finger, please schedule a consultation at Nevada Orthopedic & Spine Center today to explore the most effective treatment options available to you in Henderson & Las Vegas!