What Are the Warning Signs of Trigger Finger?

What Are the Warning Signs of Trigger Finger?

Trigger finger, which is sometimes called trigger thumb, was first described in medical texts in 1850. Anyone can develop it, but it has historically affected women between ages 50 and 60; however, recent research shows it is increasing in prevalence among teenagers, most likely due to texting.

What is trigger finger?

Stenosing tenosynovitis is the clinical name for trigger finger, and it is an issue that affects the system of tendons and pulleys, or sheaths, that help your fingers move smoothly. The American Society for Surgery of the Hand describes this system as similar to how a line is held onto a fishing rod.

Trigger finger happens when the sheath around the tendon becomes inflamed, making it difficult for the tendon to glide easily through. The condition is called trigger finger because there’s usually a clicking or popping sound when you bend or straighten your finger. It can affect any of the fingers or the thumb.

It hurts

The first symptom many people notice is that the affected digit hurts. Usually, the pain is at the base of the finger or thumb. It may hurt to touch the area or to press on it.

Often, people with trigger finger have more pain and stiffness in their fingers in the morning or after a prolonged period of rest, and it lessens with movement.

There’s a lump

Where your finger or thumb meets your palm, you may have a lump. The lump moves as you bend and straighten your finger.

Popping and clicking

In more advanced cases of trigger finger, there’s a clicking or popping noise when you move your finger or thumb.

There’s a catch

If you bend your finger and it catches or locks there, then suddenly pops straight, you may have trigger finger. The catch happens as the tendon gets caught in the swollen sheath, and then your finger straightens suddenly as the tendon passes through.

It’s stuck

In the most advanced stages of trigger finger, the finger gets stuck in a bent or straight position. You may be able to use your other hand to massage and straighten or bend the affected finger, but in some cases, even that is not possible.

Some have greater risk than others

Women tend to get trigger finger more often than men, and people between the ages of 40 and 60 are at greater risk than others, although instances of adolescents being affected are on the rise.

Additionally, people with diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis are more likely to develop trigger finger. If you’ve had surgery for carpal tunnel syndrome, you are at a greater risk for developing the condition, particularly in the six months immediately following surgery.

Your job or hobby may also make it more likely that you could get trigger finger. For instance, playing guitar, using pruners or other hand tools, or performing some tasks on an assembly line can cause strain on your hands and raise the probability of developing trigger finger.

Treatment options

The treatment that our doctors at Georgia Hand, Shoulder & Elbow recommend depending on the severity of your symptoms. Common treatments include:

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