How Do You Splint a Trigger Thumb?

People can splint trigger thumbs using nonrestrictive splints that slip on and off, adjustable braces that strap around wrists, and rigid splints that prevent thumbs from curling at night, reports BraceAbility. If patients have surgery to repair trigger thumb, they may need to wear an immobilizing brace until their thumb heals. Wearing a splint for up to six weeks reduces inflammation, relieves pain and alleviates other symptoms in 50 to 70 percent of patients, explains WebMD.

Trigger finger or thumb occurs when tendons in hands become swollen or inflamed, causing a popping sound when people move their fingers, according to WebMD. Causes of trigger thumb include prolonged grasping of objects, repeated motions, forceful actions, or maladies such as arthritis or diabetes. People between the ages of 40 and 60 are most likely to get trigger thumb, and it occurs more often in women than men. Sometimes a thumb may become locked in a bent position, and people need to straighten it manually with their other hand.

Besides splinting the affected thumb, other treatments include resting from the activities that cause the inflammation, soaking the hand in warm water, icing the palm and therapeutic exercises to restore mobility, states Mayo Clinic. Doctors may also attempt to relieve the inflammation with steroid injections. If less invasive treatments fail, doctors may try to insert an ultrasound-guided needle into the tissue around the tendon to unblock its motion or perform surgery.