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Trigger Finger

February 26, 2010


What is a trigger finger?
How does it occur?
What are the symptoms of trigger finger?
How is trigger fingers diagnosed?
How is trigger finger treated?
When can I return to my sport or activity?
How long do the effects of trigger finger last?
How can I take care of myself?
What can I do to help prevent trigger finger?

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What is a trigger finger?
Trigger finger is a condition in which it is condition in which it is difficult to straighten a finger (or fingers) once bent. The medical term for trigger finger is stenosing tenosynovitis.

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How does it occur?
Trigger finger results from inflammation or swelling of the fibrous sheath that encloses the tendons. A tendon is a band of strong fibrous tissue that connects a muscle to a bone. The straightening mechanism hesitates for a few moments before the tendon suddenly overcomes the resistance. The finger then straightens with a sudden jerk or triggering motion.

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What are the symptoms of trigger finger?
Symptoms include:
– Snapping sensation (triggering) in affected finger or fingers
– Inability to extend the finger smoothly or at all 9it may lock in place while bent)
– Tenderness to the touch over the tendon, usually at the base of the finger or palm
– Soreness in the affected finger or fingers

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How is trigger fingers diagnosed?
Your doctor will review your symptoms and examine you

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How is trigger finger treated?
Sometimes it is helped by ice and anti- inflammatory medication, such as ibuprofen. If this does not work, your doctor may give you an injection of a local anesthetic to keep you from feeling pain in the area and a corticosteroid ( cortisonelike medication) to reduce the inflammation to the tendon sheath. If necessary, the doctor will use surgery to remove the part of the tendon sheath that is causing the tendon to get stuck.

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When can I return to my sport or activity?
You may return to your sport or activity when your finger no longer catches or locks

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How long do the effects of trigger finger last?
The severity of trigger finger varies from person to person. Although response to treatment varies, results are usually good. It is best to discuss progress with your doctor on a regular basis. Surgery for this condition is usually very successful.

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How can I take care of myself?
It is important to follow your doctors instructions. In addition, rest and limit the activity of the affected finger or fingers and of the hand and wrist.

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What can I do to help prevent trigger finger?
Since the cause of trigger finder is unknown, there is no reliable way to prevent this condition from developing.

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