What is Trigger Finger/Thumb?

Symptoms and Treatment for Trigger Finger and Thumb

Many people have likely heard of the term “trigger finger” or “trigger thumb” (medically referred to as stenosing tenosynovitis), but may not know what exactly this condition entails (and no, it’s not just a resulting injury from shooting a gun, as the name may suggest).

To help you better understand this condition, please read this guide on trigger finger by my Houston, Texas practice.

What is Trigger Finger/Thumb?What is trigger finger or trigger thumb?

In the simplest terms, trigger finger is when you experience inflammation in a finger tendon, causing the finger to get stuck in a bent position (think of the pull and release of a trigger). 

Often, you can still straighten the impacted finger with a snap if you are experiencing trigger thumb or finger. However, if your condition is more severe, your finger may stay in the bent position until you receive treatment. 

What would cause me to develop trigger finger?

There are a number of things that can lead to a patient developing trigger finger, although in most cases it is hard to determine the exact cause of this condition

However, some common causes of trigger finger include:

  • If you are repeatedly gripping on a daily basis (whether for work or daily life).
  • If you are a woman 
  • If you have carpal tunnel
  • If you are suffering from certain health problems such as rheumatoid arthritis or diabetes 

When you come visit me in Houston, we can discuss your daily activities and medical history to see if we can narrow down possible causes of your trigger finger. 

How do I know if I’m suffering from trigger finger?

You can experience trigger finger in any finger, and it can range from mild to severe. Specifically, you may feel or hear sensations such as:

  • Pain while grasping
  • Pain while moving your finger
  • Feeling a bump on the base of your finger
  • Popping or clicking noises while moving your finger
  • Stiffness of the finger in the morning

This is not an exhaustive list of symptoms. If you are in Houston and think you are exhibiting these or possible other symptoms of trigger finger, I suggest you come visit me and we can discuss your condition.

How will you treat my trigger finger?

When I’m treating your trigger finger, my first step will be to get rid of your finger swelling. There are a number of treatment options we may explore. These include, but are not limited to,:

  • Prescribing you anti-inflammatory medications
  • Applying a night splint to your finger
  • Administering steroid injections
  • Recommending changes to your daily activity that could aggravate your condition

If treatment is successful, you should regain the ability to fully and painlessly move your finger. If these treatments do not work, however, I may recommend surgery during which the surgeon will open up the base of the affected finger.

After surgery, the clicking or popping will dissipate first, and your finger motion should return shortly thereafter. If you undergo surgery, we will discuss any needed hand therapy post-recovery.

If you are experiencing, or think you are experiencing, trigger finger or thumb, I’m a board certified hand specialist who is here to help.

For more information on trigger finger, please visit Dr. Jason Ashford in Houston, or Conroe Texas.

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