Trigger Finger

Trigger finger is a "snapping" condition of any of the digits of the hand when opened or closed. Trigger finger is medically termed stenosing tenosynovitis

Symptoms of trigger finger develop when either the ring, middle, or index finger attempts to flex closed while gripping. Instead of a smooth, continual closure, the digit stutters, then snaps closed. The closure is frequently associated with pain at the base of the digit on the palm of the hand. Trigger finger can affect the thumb.

Trigger finger is caused by local swelling from inflammation or scarring around the tendons that normally pull the affected digit inward toward the palm (flexion). These tendons travel in a series of tunnels within the hand and fingers. With inflammation or scarring the tendons can get caught as they enter these tunnels causing the fingers to "lock".

Before any treatment is commenced Mr Loo will assess you in a consultation to confirm the diagnosis and recommend the best course of treatment for you.

Stretching, ice, and anti-inflammation treatments can be helpful. The most rapidly effective treatment is a local steroid around the affected tendon. Most patients will respond to the steroid injection. When a trigger finger persists after two injections and is not responsive to the above treatments, surgical procedures to ultimately remove the inflamed or scarred tissue are considered.

Surgical treatment for trigger fingers is generally only offered after failed non surgical techniques have been attempted. The procedure can be done under a local anaesthetic or a general anaesthetic as a day case. It involves making an incision in either the hand or the base of the finger where the inflammed tissue is located and the tunnel is released to allow the tendons to glide freely.

If you would like further information regarding trigger fingers, an appointment can be made with Mr Stanley Loo at Eastcare Medical specialist Centre, 260 Botany Rd, Howick, Auckland. Ph. (09) 277 1540 or Ormiston Specialist Centre, 125 Ormiston Rd, Flat Bush, Auckland, Ph (09) 271 3305