Trigger Finger Treatment

Diagnosis

Trigger finger is the finger getting stuck in the bent position. It usually needs to be released with other hand. It returns to straightening with a snap. It is typically due to tightness of the A1 pulley which restricts the free movement of the flexor tendon underneath. The diagnosis of trigger finger is bsed on clinical examination. However, an X-ray would help to rule out any underlying bone condition contributing to the problem. 

Treatment

Exercise based treatment. Trigger finger may respond to simple stretching exercise based treatments. Under warm water stretches of the finger for around 5 minutes twice a day for a month may help. However, the chances of the exercises alone helping are less. 

Steroid Injection

 

Steroid injection is a safe and effective treatment for the trigger finger. There is a small risk of recurrence with the injection alone. Post injection stretches can minimize the risk of recurrence.

Trigger Finger Release Surgery

 

In patients with no improvement with all other conservative measures, surgery is considered. This is performed with a small transverse incision of around 1cm. The A1 pulley is released and the tendon is checked for free movement. Skin is usually closed with 2 simple stitches. 

Rehabilitation

Post-surgery, the bulky dressing is removed after 4 days. Early mobilization is allowed. Gentle passive stretches for the finger are started early once the pain improves. Strengthening exercises for the hand are embarked upon after 4 weeks. One is expected to return to full activity by around 6 weeks post-surgery.