The coining of the term trigger finger was due to the effect of the condition. It leaves your finger or thumb bending, and you can only straighten it with a snap, similar to how you pull and release a trigger. Ortho 1 Medical Group often deals with the medical condition since, in America, over 250,000 people have trigger fingers yearly. Trigger fingers result from the inflammation of the protective sheath that allows the effortless gliding of tendons. As a result, less space is available for the gliding of tendons, which irritates and inflames the tendons in your finger.
If you notice you have trouble bending or straightening your finger or thumb and your finger joint is stiff, locked, numb, and painful, you should seek treatment immediately. Without early diagnosis and treatment of your trigger fingers, you risk the condition gradually becoming permanent.
Subsequently, below are the broad treatment options at your doctor’s disposal when you have trigger fingers.
- Conservative treatment
Because the trigger finger is not always a severe condition, your doctor can fix most cases conservatively. However, for non-surgical treatments to work, diagnosis of your issue should happen when it begins to appear, within a few days or weeks.
Available conservative treatment options may include using a custom-made splint, medications for fighting inflammation and subjecting your affected finger to gentle massage and exercises.
For instance, when you strap your trigger finger with a splint, you stop the movement of the locked finger. That allows the inflamed and irritated tendons to rest and heal, easing symptoms and returning optimal health to your finger.
Alternatively, your doctor may recommend using laser treatment to alleviate the swelling of the tendons in your finger.
Avoid subjecting your hands and fingers to strenuous activities during conservative treatment of your trigger fingers.
- Steroid injections
If non-surgical treatments fail to relieve trigger fingers after about two or three months, you can benefit from steroid or cortisone injections or shots.
The minimally invasive treatment involves your doctor using a thin needle to introduce a steroid hormone into your affected finger joint. Due to the injections, the inflammation of the protective sheath for tendons in your fingers reduces, thus allowing more space for smooth and uninterrupted drifting of the finger’s tendons.
Injections often solve almost half of all the cases of trigger fingers it handles, and within a couple of weeks, you will have fully recovered fingers.
You may skip other non-surgical treatment options and directly try the use of injections to eliminate your condition.
- Surgical treatment
Once conservative therapies and steroid injections are unsuccessful in alleviating discomfort and pain, your doctor may recommend surgical treatment.
In another situation, injections and conservative treatments may work, but you may experience the same issue within a few months after resuming your daily activities. Thus, that may also necessitate surgery.
Surgery focuses on releasing the tendons and thus improving their movement. The stitched wound on your finger will heal within a few weeks, allowing the resumption of normal finger movement.