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Trigger Finger

Overview

Flexor tendon of the fingers are long tendons which do the complex job of bending multiple joints simultaneously in tandem as well as in isolation. To hold these tendons close to the bone so that they do not bowstring, there is an extensive mechanism of pulleys. These pulleys ensure the smooth movement of the tendon back and forth like a train passing by the train stations. 

Why does Triggering of the finger happen?

 

As the tendon has to pass through the pulley system, occasionally the tendon can become thickened into a nodule and /or the 1st pulley in the palm around the distal crease becomes thicker. This occurs due to repetitive strain. However, it occurs more often in people with diabetes mellitus.

 

Who gets Trigger Fingers?

Trigger finger or Trigger Thumb is common in diabetics, patients with hypothyroidism, musicians, keyboard users. It is seen more often in the elderly population. 

Symptoms

  • Clicking on straightening the finger

  • In some POP sound

  • Pain on straightening the bent finger

  • Pain on pressing the palm at the base of the finger. 

When to seek medical help?

Clinical assessment is sufficient to diagnose this condition. X-ray are un-necessary. Pain relieving medicines will have temporary relief. 

​What happens when I visit the Consultant?

You will be asked about the nature of injury, symptoms further to that so far. Consultant will examine you and discuss the treatment modalities. In majority of cases, MRI scan wouldn’t be required in the initial assessment. The consultant may ask you to go undergo blood tests to check for the blood sugar levels and thyroid hormone levels.  

What are the Treatment Options?

The trigger finger treatment modalities range from under warm water exercises to an injection to trigger finger release surgery depending upon the nature of symptoms and duration.

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