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"My finger is getting stuck!" All about Trigger Finger/Thumb and what to do

Image of man clutching his hand due to pain with trigger finger

Trigger Finger

Trigger finger is caused by inflammation of the flexor tendon of your fingers/thumbs due to repetitive use, arthritis, trauma, and/or genetics. For example, one can find themselves with triggering/locking of their middle finger when they make a fist. The finger will get stuck in a partial bent position and release painfully back straight into extension.

This occurs due to the enlarged size of the tendon as it passes through an anatomical pulley in your palm. When you make a fist, the tendon needs to pull the finger down but it gets stuck in the pulley due to the swelling taking up increased space.

Typical conservative treatment involves immobilization to reduce recurring irritation/triggering to the flexor tendon. This will involve the certified hand therapist at Happy Hands creating a custom splint immobilizing a single finger joint. You will find that it will limit motion in that joint but allow movement everywhere else. It is recommended you wear this for 2-3 weeks.

Afterwards, if conservative splinting is insufficient, then a cortisone injection may be recommended next. If that fails, you may be referred to an orthopedic surgeon to discuss possible trigger finger release. That procedure entails opening the pulley to prevent further triggering. Healing is typically prompt with most patients returning to normal routine within 4 weeks.

For further questions regarding trigger finger, or if you would like a custom thermoplastic finger splint/orthosis, please contact us at Happy Hands for further information.

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