Trigger Finger or Thumb

What is Trigger Finger or Thumb?

Trigger finger / thumb is caused by a thickening / nodule on the tendon, which gets caught as the tendon moves through a tunnel in the finger / thumb. It can result in a snapping / popping sensation with associated pain when the finger is bent or straightened. The finger / thumb often gets stuck in a bent position and can only be straightened by the patient using their other hand to force it straight.

The exact cause of trigger finger / thumb is not fully understood. Rest from any aggravating activity, splinting and cortisone injection are the most appropriate treatment options. Cortisone injections are successful in 9 out of 10 people. A second injection is sometimes required to completely resolve the problem. It often takes 2 weeks following the injection for the pain and snapping of the tendon to settle. Splinting or avoiding gripping for 2 weeks following the injection improves the chance of success.

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The Independent General Practice

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