Stenosing tenosynovitis is a condition commonly known as “trigger finger.” It is sometimes also called “trigger thumb.” The tendons that bend the fingers glide easily with the help of pulleys. These pulleys hold the tendons close to the bone. This is similar to how a line is held on a fishing rod (Figure 1). Trigger finger occurs when the pulley becomes too thick, so the tendon cannot glide easily through it (Figure 2).
Trigger fingers are more common with certain medical conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, gout, and diabetes. Repeated and strong gripping may lead to the condition. In most cases, the cause of the trigger finger is not known.
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS
Trigger finger may start with discomfort felt at the base of the finger or thumb, where the finger joins the palm. This area is often sensitive to pressure. You might feel a lump there. Other symptoms may include:
Limited finger movement
The goal of treatment in trigger finger is to eliminate the swelling and catching/locking, allowing full, painless movement of the finger or thumb.
Common treatments include, but are not limited to:
Changing your activity
If non-surgical treatments do not relieve the symptoms of trigger finger, surgery for trigger finger may be recommended. The goal of trigger figner surgery is to open the pulley at the base of the finger so that the tendon of the finger can glide more freely. The clicking or popping goes away first. Finger motion can return quickly, or there can be some stiffness after surgery. Occasionally, hand physical therapy is required after surgery to regain better use of the treated trigger finger and hand.
The board certified surgeons at Specialty Surgeons of Palm Beach perform non-surgical and surgical treatment for trigger finger and other hand conditions. Doctor Michael Lake, MD, is a double board certified General Surgeon and Plastic Surgeon with extensive training in reconstructive hand surgery from the University of Miami, FL. He treats patients for trigger finger and other hand conditions in Jupiter, Palm Beach Gardens, and West Palm Beach, Florida. Doctor Lake performs trigger finger surgery in Palm Beach Gardens and Hollywood, Florida.