Trigger finger is a situation in which one of the fingers "gets stuck" in a bent state and straightens up while giving the sensation of a jump, like a released trigger.
This situation is created by an inflammation causing a narrowing of the gap between the sheath and the bent tendons which it sheaths. In severe cases the finger might become "locked" in a bent state.
The purpose of the tendon sheath is to create a barrier for the proper functioning of the tendons using synovial liquid and preventing the tendon's stretching while being tightened to the bone at the connecting point. The tendons are the connective tissue between the muscles causing the fingers' activity, as well as the activity of their bones. This system creates the fingers' motion.
Causes of the inflammation's development
Friction of the tendon causes an inflammation and a thickening of the tendons which makes it difficult for them to function normally within their sheath. The tendons' thickening is sometimes causes by repeated strained use or by direct trauma.
Trigger Finger frequency
The trigger finger disease is a gradually progressive illness and it typically appears in women around the age of 60. People with Diabetes Mellitus tend to suffer from Trigger Finger.
Characteristics of Trigger Finger
A feeling of heat, pain and stiffness at the base of the inflamed finger, usually in the morning, a sensation of the joint's locking and jump when releasing and straightening the finger. In a more severe case the tendons cannot be released due to blocking of the channel.
Treating Trigger Finger
In many cases the Trigger Finger disappears with no need for surgical intervention.
Using a splint - in order to create a resting state for the injured finger using a splint which supports it and prevents its movement.
Anti-inflammatory medications - help in reducing the inflammation in the tendon sheath and reducing the pain.
Cortisone injection - an anti-inflammatory hormone used for focused treatment in reducing the inflammation and mitigating the pain accompanying it.
Surgery - if the conservative treatment proves to be ineffective there is need for surgical intervention in which the pressure on the tendons and the friction causing the inflammation are released by cutting the shaeth around the bent tendons
Dr. Alon Covo