By Dr. Brandon C. Maisel
Trigger finger is a common medical condition seen in orthopedic offices across the country. Over time, one or multiple fingers may become “sticky,” no longer opening and closing smoothly. Trigger finger is most seen in those over the age of 50 and/or are diagnosed with diabetes. Additionally, individuals who are manual laborers and perform repetitive movements with their hands are prone to trigger finger.
In medical terms, trigger finger is caused by stenosing tenosynovitis of the A1 pulley system in the hand. As Dr. Maisel describes it, “The rope that allows you to bend your fingers has a knot in it and is getting caught on another piece of tissue.” Symptoms include clicking, catching and pain at the base of the fingers. Unfortunately, trigger finger may slowly progress over time and can become physically locked in a flexed position. Thankfully, at Gelb Sports Medicine & Orthopaedic center we offer many treatment options.
During your visit, you will undergo a thorough evaluation of your hand and fingers. Occasionally, you may be suffering from other conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, calcific tenosynovitis or carpal tunnel syndrome that will be evaluated during the office visit. An x-ray of the hand will be taken and reviewed with you at the bedside. If you are indeed suffering from trigger finger, a comprehensive plan will be developed. Treatment options include occupational therapy, finger splinting, prescribed anti-inflammatory medication, ultra-sound guided A1 pulley cortisone injection and even percutaneous release of the A1 pulley as well under ultrasound guidance. To elaborate further, percutaneous release of the A1 pulley is an office-based procedure that will free up space for the flexor tendon to glide smoothly and no longer get “caught” on another piece of tissue. Since local anesthesia will be used, you may drive yourself home after the procedure!
As you can see there are many treatment options that can ultimately resolve your trigger finger issues. Call for an appointment today to discuss treatment options for your hard-working hands!