If you’ve got a finger or thumb that locks or catches and sometimes freezes in position, it could be due to stenosing tenosynovitis (trigger finger). The fellowship-trained and board-certified physicians at New Braunfels Orthopaedic Surgery & Sports Medicine in New Braunfels, Texas, can help with this condition using minimally invasive outpatient surgery or an office-based procedure to release the tissue in your hand that’s causing the problem. Schedule a consultation and get your trigger finger or thumb fixed by calling the office today or book an appointment using the online form.
Trigger finger (stenosing tenosynovitis) causes pain and stiffness in your finger. You feel the joint catching when you try to bend or straighten it, and it can lock into a bent position.
Your ring finger is the one most likely to develop trigger finger, although it can affect your other fingers, too. It’s common in the thumb as well, when it’s known as trigger thumb.
Trigger finger arises because of a problem with the tendons in your hand. There are tendons attaching your arm muscles to the bones in your hand called the flexor tendons, and they enable you to bend your fingers.
The flexor tendons go through a tendon sheath in your palm. The sheath contains pulleys, thickened strips of tissue, that keep the tendons close to your finger bones. Tightness at the A1 pulley at the base of your finger is what causes trigger finger.
Trigger finger is more likely to affect you if you have a chronic condition like arthritis or diabetes. Overuse of your hand or straining your hand can also lead to trigger finger. In many cases, there’s no clear cause for trigger finger.
Your provider at New Braunfels Orthopaedic Surgery & Sports Medicine is likely to treat your trigger finger using non-surgical approaches, to begin with. These could include:
If these treatments aren’t relieving pain and your finger is still locking, you might require surgery.
Trigger finger surgery is called trigger finger release. The aim is to divide the A1 pulley where it’s interfering with your flexor tendon. This is an outpatient procedure that just requires a local anesthetic.
Your surgeon at New Braunfels Orthopaedic Surgery & Sports Medicine can either make an incision in your palm or use a special device guided by an ultrasound to the A1 pulley. The flexor tendon can then slide more easily through the tendon sheath.
In the same way as cutting the ligament in your wrist during carpal tunnel release doesn’t affect your ability to use your hand, dividing the A1 pulley won’t affect your ability to use your finger.
If you have a stiff or unbending finger or thumb, you can resolve the problem with a visit to New Braunfels Orthopaedic Surgery & Sports Medicine. Call their office today or book a trigger finger appointment online.