Story by: Norton Healthcare on March 5, 2020
A temporary sticking or popping in any finger or thumb when you bend the finger — trigger finger — can be treated without surgery, but in some cases an outpatient procedure may be needed to free the inflamed tendon causing the condition.
Trigger finger treatment can range from rest to surgery, depending on the severity of your condition.
Resting your hands if possible, wearing a splint at night, stretching exercises and a steroid injection all can alleviate trigger finger without surgery. Severity of trigger finger can be as simple as an annoying pop or sensation of the joint being stuck when you extend the finger. More severe cases are painful, with the digit stuck in a closed position.
“Trigger finger is a common complaint seen most frequently in adults over 40 who use a tight grip repeatedly. Often the condition can be treated without surgery, but if surgery is required, it’s a procedure with a high success rate and doesn’t require an overnight stay,” said Victor Fehrenbacher, M.D., hand surgeon with Norton Louisville Arm & Hand.
Related: How to fix a jammed finger
The arm and hand surgeons at Norton Louisville Arm & Hand have a broad range of expertise that ranges from ailments like carpal tunnel and trigger finger to more complex procedures such as reattachment microsurgery.
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If you have severe symptoms or steps like rest, splinting, exercises and injection haven’t helped, there are more aggressive treatments.
Your physician may recommend surgery on the affected finger. The surgery is an outpatient procedure done with local anesthetic. Through a small incision, the surgeon makes a small cut in the sheath surrounding the tendon to allow for freer movement.
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