Has your finger ever gotten locked in a bent position? You may be suffering from trigger finger. It’s one of the most common conditions that we treat at Michigan Surgery Specialists.
Trigger finger is a condition in which a finger becomes stuck in a bent position, then snaps like the trigger of a gun being pulled. Also known as stenosing tenosynovitis, trigger finger is caused by inflammation of tendons in the finger.
Symptoms include stiffness, soreness, and limited use. And in severe cases, the affected finger can lock in place. In serious cases, trigger finger surgery is necessary.
Surgery is not the first option for this condition. However, it often sometimes proves to be the best option. In this post, we’ll answer the most common questions about trigger finger surgery.
Are there non-surgical treatments for trigger finger?
Yes. If you’re suffering from trigger finger, non-surgical treatment is the first step. Surgery is usually only performed after nonsurgical methods have not been successful.
Other treatment options include:
Splinting: A splint keeps the affected finger in place. That prevents inflammation caused by moving your finger throughout the day. You may also wear a splint to bed to keep the finger immobilized while you sleep.
Occupational therapy: An occupational therapist may work with you on stretches and exercises. These exercises can release tension, which will help stop trigger finger symptoms.
Steroidal injections: Steroids decrease swelling. A doctor may inject your finger with corticosteroids. This will reduce your pain and improve your mobility.
If none of these treatments work, trigger finger surgery is the next option. Let’s look at the two different types of trigger finger surgery.
What is trigger finger surgery?
There are two types of trigger finger surgery. The first is called, “percutaneous release.
In a percutaneous release, a hand surgeon uses a needle, guided by ultrasound. The surgeon then uses the needle to break up tissue around the tendon sheath that is limiting mobility.
Because there is no incision, percutaneous release doesn’t require stitches. And it doesn’t leave a scar.
Percutaneous release is less invasive, and has a slightly shorter recovery time. However, it is not right for all patients.
In many cases, a hand surgeon will opt for open trigger finger surgery.
With traditional trigger finger surgery, the surgeon makes a small incision in the finger. The surgeon then cuts the tendon sheath, allowing more room for the tendon to move.
The surgery is an outpatient procedure and usually lasts about a half hour. That changes, of course, if we’re working on more than one finger.
What happens after trigger finger surgery?
You may have some pain and swelling after the procedure. You can reduce pain by elevating your hand and taking anti-inflammatory medication.
Occupational therapy can reduce pain and improve the mobility of your finger after surgery.
There are few restrictions with this procedure. You’ll need to avoid using that hand for most tasks, especially pinching or grasping, for at least two weeks.
You’ll also have to avoid any sort of heavy lifting or repetitive motion with that hand.
You will usually be able to return to normal routines after about two weeks of healing. However, your individual situation may vary.
Are you suffering from trigger finger?
Michigan Surgery Specialists can help. Our team of expert hand surgeons in Detroit can relieve your pain. And we work closely with physical therapists to ensure that you regain full use of your fingers as quickly as possible.
Request an appointment with Michigan Surgery Specialists.