Trigger Finger Is Becoming More Common!

Trigger finger is a typical problem that involves snapping and pain that affect the tendons of fingers. Patients experience trigger finger because of a problem having to do with the tendons located in the fingers, as well as the sheath where these tendons are located.

To understand trigger finger, you have to understand what tendons are. Tendons are very similar rope-like items that attach to the ends of your fingers. If your muscle contracts, your tendons will pull the fingers and make them curl (like a fist). The tendons run along a sheath known as a flexor tendon sheath and in those individuals with a trigger finger, this simple action of extending the fingers is not so smooth.

Unfortunately, the cause of trigger finger is not very apparent. It can actually appear to come out of no where and can show up in one ore more fingers, while occurring at different times in varying locations. The results of trigger finger come from a difference in the size of the tendon and the size of the entrance belonging to the tendon sheath.

When these two sizes become too large and reaches a point of critical mass, the tendon will begin to encounter a form of resistance from the tendon sheath. This will first be encountered as a snapping of the trigger finger discovered when you try to relax your fist. Signs of a worsening condition of trigger finger consist of the need of force to force fingers to straighten, or the inability for your fingers to straighten at all.

This condition is called the trigger finger because of the symptom that you receive from snapping or triggering. It most commonly takes place when you relax a fist and the affected finger that has trigger finger remains flexed. If you exert enough force, the trigger finger becomes suddenly extended, almost like pulling a trigger.

Trigger Finger Treatment

The typical form of treatment for trigger finger involves the injection of steroids, like a cortisone injection. This injection occurs in the flexor tendon sheath and is designed to limit the swelling within the tendon, as well as restore the normal function of the flexor tendon.

Typically, only one cortisone injection is needed to correct your trigger finger problem. This will be a temporary fix, and the chance of it being a permanent fix is about 50%.

But like all forms of tendonitis and most tendon problems, if you catch it early it can be treated without the need to go and see a doctor. The earlier you catch and start treating the symptoms of tendonitis the less chance there is that the condition may become permanent.

For general information on treating tendonitis see our tendonitis treatment page.

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