Are your fingers catching, locking, or getting stuck? Do you have to pop your finger out straight after wringing out a washcloth or gripping the steering wheel? Are your fingers sore and stiff in the morning? If so, you may have a condition known as trigger finger.
This painful condition has nothing to do with hunting, shooting or pulling a trigger! Rather, the name comes from the catching or “triggering” sensation with finger motion.
Symptoms: What does Trigger Finger feel like?
Trigger finger causes pain and stiffness in the fingers. This is often worse in the morning, but gradually improves as the finger loosens up with use. As the condition worsens, it can cause a clicking or ratcheting sensation. Ultimately, the finger may become so stiff that it locks in a bent position.
When the finger is more forcefully extended, the finger pops out straight. This can feel like the popping is coming from the joint or knuckle. Often, there is pain at the base of the finger in the palm and sometimes a lump or nodule is present as well.
Evaluation: How is Trigger Finger diagnosed?
Physical Exam: Trigger finger is diagnosed clinically by examining the hand and finger. When the finger is actually catching or locking, the diagnosis is clear.
X-rays: Sometimes, X-rays may be obtained to assess for other conditions such as arthritis that may cause pain and stiffness in the fingers or thumbs.
Recovery: What Can Be Expected?
Trigger finger release surgery is an outpatient procedure, meaning patients go home the same day as surgery. Light use of the hands is permitted immediately after surgery. A light, soft dressing is applied to the hand. Splints are usually not necessary. Washing the hand is often allowed within days after surgery.
If you have significant symptoms in both hands, surgery can be done on both at the same time or one at a time depending on your preference. The hands can be used for getting dressed, eating, going to the bathroom, and other light daily activities immediately after surgery.
Sutures are usually removed 1–2 weeks after surgery. Once the incision is healed, activities can be gradually advanced as tolerated. If you are struggling with stiffness, formal hand therapy may be recommended. Very often, simple home exercises are adequate to regain full function in the finger and hand. While the incision heals in 1–2 weeks, it can take 4–6 months for the swelling, stiffness, and discomfort to fully resolve.
It is possible, but exceedingly rare, for trigger fingers to persist or come back after surgery. If they do, another surgery may be necessary to remove a portion of the tendon that is not gliding smoothly. This is more common in patients with diabetes. For the vast majority of people, surgery takes care of the problem for life. While other fingers or digits may be affected in the future, surgery is not done on normal fingers just to keep them from being affected later in life.
The following physicians specialize in the treatment of Trigger Finger:
https://i0.wp.com/orthopedicinstitutesf.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/David-Jones-sq.jpg?fit=1024%2C1024&ssl=110241024Christopher Holman/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/OI-logo-main.pngChristopher Holman2019-03-10 04:09:542023-01-27 17:56:01David B. Jones Jr., MD
I highly recommend Dr. Jones to anyone having issues with their hands. I made an appointment with Dr. Jones based on a recommendation from someone who has the opportunity to work with him in the OR. I was told he was a very good surgeon and ‘one of the nicest people you will ever meet’. I was extremely happy with my first visit. He believes surgery should be a last resort and recommended a cortisone shot and splints to wear as needed. So far this has been very effective for me. Great results!
Deb in Sioux Falls, SD HealthGrades online review
GREAT DOCTOR!!! So professional, but still down to earth!! Love this Doctor!! 2 surgeries by him, and will only have him again!! Does a beautiful job on my hand!! Thanks Dr. Jones!!!!! Highly recommend Dr. Jones!!
RateMDs online review
I have been very pleased with the professionalism and quality of care that Dr. Jones has demonstrated. He has been very compassionate and dedicated to making sure that I gain back as much function in my hands as possible. He was proactive in managing the pain after surgery by using a nerve block. This allowed me to focus on healing rather than focusing on the pain.
On October 10th I finally had Carpal Tunnel Relief Surgery to hopefully help the problem. Dr. David Jones Jr. with the Orthopedic Institute @orthoisf in Sioux Falls did the surgery. The first thing I noticed within a couple days of surgery is that I was sleeping through the night, and dreaming. Now that may sound strange but I haven’t really had dreams at night for years because I was constantly waking up and never able to reach a deep sleep where dreams happen. The next thing I noticed is that my hands were not going numb and were pain free when I would drive a car or hold my phone. On October 23, thirteen days after surgery I returned to the Orthopedic Institute to see Dr. Jones for a checkup and to get my stitches removed. I decided to make the the 4 hour round trip on my bike. My hands never went numb one time and I had no pain! I could not be happier with the outcome! Why did I wait so long to get this done?! #relief #letsride#TeamUpOI