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How do you know if you need trigger finger surgery?

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Quick Answer

Doctors may recommend trigger finger surgery if a patient's finger is stuck in a bent position, notes the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. People may also decide to have trigger finger surgery if their symptoms are severe and other treatments have failed.

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Full Answer

Trigger finger is a condition of the tendons that causes affected fingers to catch before straightening, and in some cases to become locked in a bent position, states the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. In a case of trigger finger, the flexor tendon may be thickened, blocking its passage through the tendon sheath, or the sheath may become thickened and not allow the tendon to pass through properly. The cause of trigger finger is usually unknown, as of 2015, but women, people between the ages of 40 and 60, people with conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis or diabetes, and those that engage in activities that strain the hand are at higher risk of contracting the condition.

Prior to electing surgery for trigger finger, patients may try treatments such as rest, over-the-counter pain medications such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or acetaminophen, notes the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Doctors may also prescribe corticosteroid injections into the tendon sheath for those suffering from trigger finger. When people choose surgery for trigger finger, doctors widen the opening of the sheath tunnel so that the tendon can move more freely.

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