The tendency of fingers to lock or catch because of abnormalities in the size of the flexor tendon and the retinacular pulley system is called trigger fingers. The exact cause of this disorder is unknown but studies have linked it to overuse of the hands and certain physical injuries.
Trigger Fingers – Risk Factors and Symptoms
Trigger digits are more common in adults, particularly women. People in the 40 to 60 age group are more prone to this disorder. Patients with rheumatoid arthritis or diabetes are at higher risk for trigger fingers. It often affects the middle finger, ring finger or the thumb, or more than one of them. Patients with trigger fingers may feel pain and dysfunction when bending or stretching the fingers in the morning. Tight grips on objects can also aggravate the condition. Even in the absence of injury, this disorder may cause a tender lump on the palm, swelling or inflammation in the fingers, and a catching or popping tendency in the joints.
Trigger Finger Release – Simple Procedure
Serious cases of trigger digits may require surgery that involves releasing the first annular pulley in the tendon. Done under regional nerve block or local anesthesia, trigger finger release surgery involves making an incision smaller than two centimeters in the palm. The surgeon cuts the tendon sheath tunnel and releases the tight part of the sheath to give the tendon more space for movement. While patients can normally move their fingers after the procedure is completed, they may feel soreness in their palm. Risks that come with trigger finger release include incomplete extension, infection, bowstringing, and persistent triggering. Most patients, however, fully recover after a few weeks without adverse reactions.
Trigger Finger Exercises – Options
A simple way to eliminate trigger finger is to massage the affected area to get the blood circulating so that the joint is lubricated. Two to three minutes of rubbing across the knuckle in a circular motion should provide relief. Assisted movement is one of the trigger finger exercises that help the finger with its range of motion. It involves bending and straightening the affected finger to its maximum extent for ten to fifteen minutes. Another way to address the condition is by doing strengthening routines, including bending the knuckles at a 90-degree angle and doing resistance exercises with a rubber band.