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Our eight surgeons, thirteen therapists, and many helpful nurses at Georgia Hand, Shoulder & Elbow are ready to assist you if you suspect that you have one of these conditions. We have two offices conveniently located in Atlanta and Marietta, Georgia. Schedule an appointment with us today!
Though both trigger finger and Dupuytren’s contracture affect your fingers, there are some differences. The differences are as follows:
While the similarities between Dupuytren’s contracture and trigger finger may cause some confusion, knowing the signs of each condition can help you pinpoint the differences between the two.
Trigger finger is caused by the inflammation and swelling of the sheath (protective covering) surrounding your tendon. Once your sheath swells and thickens, it becomes difficult for your tendon to glide easily and smoothly as you try to straighten and bend your finger. This friction between your tendon and the sheath can cause your finger to “trigger” into a bent position.
The inflammation experienced by a trigger finger can occur without any specific event or can be due to repetitive overuse. Other medical conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, and hypothyroidism can also increase your chances of having this condition. Trigger finger is also more likely to occur in women than in men.
Dupuytren’s contracture occurs when the tissue cells located right under the skin of the palm of your hand undergo a genetic change. Your palmar fascia begins to thicken and draw in, causing your finger to bend towards your palm. Once this genetic change occurs, new nodules and cords develop just underneath your skin at the base of your finger.
The exact cause of this condition is unknown; however, in many cases, it can be hereditary. Certain factors can increase your risk of developing Dupuytren’s contracture, such as your age, gender, and the use of alcohol and tobacco. Diabetes can also increase your risk.
Trigger finger can be treated conservatively by means of:
In some cases, our specialists will try to implement these measures first. If these are unsuccessful in aiding your recovery or your condition has progressed to where further measures need to be taken, then a minor surgical procedure may be recommended.
Unfortunately, Dupuytren’s contracture cannot be treated by conservative measures once the impairment of your finger is in an advanced stage. At this point, surgery will most likely be recommended. In some cases, a minimally invasive procedure or a specialized injection of collagenase may be recommended.
Whether you are experiencing symptoms of trigger finger or Dupuytren’s contracture, you should contact one of our experts at Georgia Hand, Shoulder & Elbow for treatment. One of our specialists located in Marietta or Atlanta, GA would love to assist you. Schedule an appointment with us today!
Dr. Randall Alexander, MD