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Trigger finger, also known as stenosing tenosynovitis, is a condition where one of the fingers of the hand snaps to a bent or straight position on a regular basis, causing pain and discomfort. Many trigger finger treatments can be completed at home, including rest, exercises, and heat therapy. Medications are another trigger finger treatment to reduce inflammation and pain. Percutaneous trigger finger release and surgical options are recommended for those will severe symptoms.
This condition happens when there is inflammation of the sheath and reduction in lubrication surrounding the tendons in the finger. It causes pain, stiffness, a clicking of the finger when it is flexed inwards, and can cause the finger to become locked in a position. People that perform jobs where they repeatedly do certain motions with their fingers are more susceptible to developing trigger finger, but it usually only affects one finger, most often the thumb or middle digit of the hand.
Trigger finger treatment for less severe cases works to reduce pain and minimize the use of the finger to allow the inflammation to subside. Wearing a splint for up to six weeks that prevents the person from flexing the finger reduces the irritation of the tendons. Finger exercises may be suggested to some patients to stretch the tendon, improve the flexion of the finger, and to break up scar tissue. Soaking the affected finger or hand in warm water in the morning is a common trigger finger treatment option to relax the muscles of the finger, and regular massages of the finger may also help to reduce pain.
Non-steroid anti-inflammatories that can be obtain over-the-counter are often prescribed to reduce pain and inflammation. Cortisone injections are another trigger finger treatment option. The injection is given in the sheath that surrounds the tendon to reduce inflammation and allow the person to continue finger exercises.
The percutaneous trigger finger release is performed on trigger finger that affects the second, third, or fourth digits of the hand. A local anesthetic is injected into the hand and a needle is inserted to release the tendon. Cortisone injections are also sometimes applied at the same time that this procedure is performed.
There are surgical options to treat trigger finger. A physician will make a small incision and expand the amount of room in the tendon sheath. Sometimes, a surgeon will simply cut the sheath, and the sheath will heal back together with more room for the enclosed tendon. Recovery from surgery takes only a few days, and a physician may recommend exercises or other therapy options to prevent scar tissue from forming at the site of the incision.
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