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Trigger finger affects the tendons that move the fingers, and feels like there is a locking or catching when the fingers are bent or straightened. There also can be pain or stiffness in the fingers. In severe cases, the finger becomes stuck in the bent position. Trigger finger can affect all the fingers and the thumb, but the most common areas affected are the ring finger and thumb.
Trigger finger occurs when the tendon that controls that finger can’t move smoothly in the sheath that surrounds it. This can happen if part of the sheath becomes swollen, or if a small lump forms on the tendon.
Women over the age of 50 are more likely to develop trigger finger than other groups. If you have diabetes, low thyroid function or rheumatoid arthritis, you may be at a higher risk to get trigger finger.
The Norton Arm & Hand Institute specialists have offices in downtown Louisville, St. Matthews and on the Norton Brownsboro Hospital campus, with appointments often available within a week and sometimes the same day. Our fellowship-trained and board-certified physicians have the experience and expertise to know when conservative treatment approaches can help and when surgery will be the only potential source of relief.
Symptoms of trigger finger often start gradually without a clear injury, and can include:
Stiffness and locking tend to be worse after periods of inactivity, such as when you wake up in the morning. Symptoms may improve throughout the day with consistent, gentle use of the hand.
The first course of trigger finger treatment is nonsurgical and includes:
Surgery is considered if the above treatments do not help. Surgery releases the tendon in the affected finger, allowing it to glide easily without clicking, catching or locking.
Our arm and hand specialists have offices in downtown Louisville, St. Matthews and on the Norton Brownsboro Hospital campus. As a leader in orthopedic care in Louisville, we have a full range of options to tailor treatment to your lifestyle and condition. If you need arm or hand surgery, the specialists at Norton Arm & Hand Institute have the expertise and skill to get you moving again.
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