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Trigger Finger Release

This page will provide you with information about trigger finger release. For further details, please speak to your consultant.

What is trigger finger?

Trigger finger is a common condition that causes the snapping, catching or locking of the affected finger when it is bent towards the palm. The condition can affect more than one finger and symptoms include clicking, stiffness, discomfort and small, visible lumps at the base of the affected finger.

What are the causes?

The exact cause of trigger finger is not yet fully understood but it is more common in women, people over 40 years old and people with certain medical conditions, such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome and gout, among others.

What are the treatment options?

Sometimes, trigger finger may improve without treatment. Non-surgical treatment may involve medication, injections or splinting – which means strapping the finger to a splint in order to ease symptoms. In more severe cases or where treatment doesn’t work, surgical intervention will be needed.

Trigger finger release surgery

Trigger finger release surgery takes approximately 20 minutes and is typically performed under local anaesthetic. There are two main types of surgery:

  • Open trigger finger release surgery – This surgical procedure involves making a small incision into your palm along the creases (which will reduce scarring). The surgeon will cut along the tendon sheath (a layer of membrane surrounding a tendon) to make it wider.
  • Percutaneous trigger finger release surgery – During this procedure, a needle is inserted into the base of the affected finger so the doctor is able to slice the ligament. There is no incision with this type of surgery which means there will be no scarring.

After the surgery you should be able to move your finger immediately but may experience some pain or tenderness. The dressings can be removed after a few days. Full movement will return within a fortnight.

The type of surgery will depend on your individual condition, which can be determined through a consultation with your doctor.

 

This page is intended for informational purposes only and should not replace advice that your relevant health professional would give you.

 

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