Trigger Finger Treatment in Dallas, Texas
Trigger Finger Surgery and Treatment Options in DFW
There are over 200,000 cases of Trigger Finger reported in the United States every year. While the cause of trigger finger is not always clear, the prognosis is excellent. An excellent prognosis means that a full recovery is expected with no lasting consequences. Whether the condition requires steroid injections, surgery, or simply rest, nearly all patients diagnosed with trigger finger can make a full recovery after receiving trigger finger treatment. If you’re suffering from intense pain from this condition, we may recommend trigger finger surgery after conservative treatments haven’t worked. To schedule an appointment with the best orthopedic surgeon in Dallas, please call SPORT Orthopedics + Physical Therapy today at 469-200-2832.
What Is Trigger Finger?
In our hands are flexor tendons that attach to our thumb and ring finger. These flexor tendons pass through a tunnel, called a tendon sheath, and connect to the muscles from our forearm. These muscles allow us to keep our thumb and ring finger straight or bent.
Typically, the flexor tendon is able to glide freely through the tendon sheath, allowing for effortless, easy movements. However, the flexor tendon can have difficulty fitting through the tendon sheath if they are swollen or develop a tender lump or nodule. When the flexor tendon gets stuck in the tendon sheath, it can cause pain, swelling, and a sort of popping or locking sensation as the finger flexes. The finger or thumb may also get stuck in one position and will be difficult to bend or move the finger to a straight position. This is what is referred to as Trigger Finger or Trigger Thumb, technically labeled stenosing tenosynovitis.
Trigger Finger is a common hand condition that brings hand, finger, and top of wrist pain. Trigger Fingers can affect any finger on your hand, including the thumb. It is also possible that more than one finger is affected at a time.
What Causes Trigger Finger?
There is no single, definitive cause of Trigger Finger or Trigger Thumb, or at least none that is known. We do know, however, that the condition appears to be more common in women than it is in men and occurs mostly in individuals aged 40-60.
It is also likely that certain occupations or hobbies involving repeated use of the hand and gripping can lead to the development of Trigger Finger. This may be something like a construction job that requires the frequent handling and gripping of tools. Such movements can cause the tendons in the hand to become irritated and inflamed.
Risk factors for Trigger Finger or Trigger Thumb include a wide variety of preexisting medical conditions. Certain medical conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, autoimmune diseases, musculoskeletal disorders, and gout are linked to the contraction of Trigger Finger in some way. Diabetic patients are also at a higher risk of developing Trigger Finger or Trigger Thumb.
For those who have had carpal tunnel syndrome surgery, Trigger Finger or Trigger Thumb may be one of the complications associated with such surgical treatments. This is especially so within the first six months following the carpal tunnel syndrome surgery. In addition, some individuals might be born with a nodule on their tendon that plays a role in the development of this condition.
Trigger Finger Symptoms
Symptoms of Trigger Finger typically begin with pain or discomfort at the base of the thumb or finger. There may also be pain on top of the hand near the wrist. In addition, the palm of the hand might be painful or irritated, sometimes resulting in swelling or even a small lump or “nodule” developing on the affected tendon.
If you experience the symptoms of Trigger Finger, you will find it difficult to bend or straighten your fingers or thumb. It may be that the fingers catch or get stuck when you attempt to move them or, in more severe cases, become unable to move at all. The symptoms may appear worse after first waking up in the morning or after periods of inactivity.
Other symptoms may include:
- Finger stiffness
- A popping or clicking feeling when moving your finger
- Finger locking in a bent position, then suddenly pops straight
- Finger locking in a bent position that you are unable to straighten
Trigger Finger Treatment
For individuals with mild symptoms, treatment options may be as simple as rest and pain relief medications. The doctor or hand therapist may recommend that you wear a splint for support and may suggest over-the-counter pain medication to reduce discomfort and swelling. In some cases, doctors may choose anti-inflammatory medications or corticosteroid injections.
Surgery for Trigger Finger in Dallas and Frisco, TX
Surgical treatment, otherwise known as Trigger Finger Release, is not generally the first solution to treating stenosing tenosynovitis. However, a patient may undergo this surgical procedure if non surgical treatments, such as anti inflammatory medications or corticosteroid injections, have failed and the thumb or finger remains stuck in a bent position. There are a couple surgical options available when it comes to correcting Trigger Finger.
In an outpatient based open surgery, Dallas orthopaedic surgeons may numb the base of the finger or thumb and make a small opening on the palm side of your hand. They will then make a small incision in the tendon sheath, essentially creating a larger tunnel for the tendons to fit through and enable them to glide more easily.
In other cases, the tendon sheath can be safely opened with the tip of a needle. This will also create a larger tunnel for your tendons to move through with ease, and can be performed from the comfort of your doctor’s office. This treatment option is the easiest, in terms of surgical procedures, to reduce pain or relieve pain altogether.
Recovery from Trigger Finger hand surgery is dependent on the extent of the condition and the type of surgery performed, if any. You will be able to move your fingers or thumb immediately after surgery, but you may experience discomfort or swelling for a short period of time afterwards. Most patients will require hand therapy, even if this is just stretching exercises, to help regain movement, but most people achieve a full recovery within just a few weeks.
What Happens if the Affected Finger Isn’t Treated?
In many cases, Trigger Finger is more of a nuisance than it is a serious medical condition. Sometimes it will even heal itself on its own. However, it can potentially cause problems if left untreated. Without proper treatment, the affected finger (or thumb) can become permanently stuck in a bent position. This can make carrying out simple, everyday activities rather difficult or otherwise painful.
Trigger Finger Prevention
People may work to prevent Trigger Finger or Trigger Thumb by avoiding certain repetitive activities that strain the fingers and palm. Sometimes, though, this may be unavoidable, as you may be in a line of work that requires constant flexion of the fingers or hands or have a previous medical condition that inevitably leads to this diagnosis. In the case that prevention is not an option, it is best that you schedule a physical exam after developing Trigger Finger or Trigger Thumb. At SPORT, we offer both therapeutic and surgical options to repair stenosing tenosynovitis. Call our office today to schedule an appointment with our skilled physicians.
Orthopaedic Surgeons for Trigger Finger Conditions
Our board certified orthopedic surgeons of Sports Physicians Orthopedics and Rehabilitation of Texas (SPORT) see hundreds of patients with Trigger Finger or Trigger Thumb. Our orthopedic surgeons, along with the rest of our SPORT doctors and physical therapists, have the skills and the experience needed to treat and correct Trigger Finger of any severity.
If you or someone you know is suffering from this condition, get in touch with the experts at SPORT Orthopedics + Rehabilitation as soon as possible to ensure you’re back in the game in no time. You can give us a call at (469) 200-2832 to schedule a consultation or feel free to fill out our online intake form.