Trigger Finger

Trigger finger is a common problem that causes pain and snapping of the tendons in the fingers. The problem that occurs in a patient who has trigger finger is due to the tendons of the fingers, and the sheath in which these tendons live.

The name trigger finger is from the symptom of triggering or snapping. This occurs when relaxing a fist, the affected trigger finger remains flexed. When enough force has been gathered, the trigger finger will suddenly extend, like pulling a trigger.

The cause of trigger finger is unclear, and can seemingly appear from nowhere. It can occur in one or more fingers, and can occur at different times in different locations. Trigger finger results from a discrepancy between the size of the tendon and the entrance to the tendon sheath. This discrepancy can be the result of localized inflammation or a nodular swelling on the tendon itself.

When the size discrepancy between the tendon and the tendon sheath reaches a critical point, the tendon will experience resistance from the tendon sheath. At first, this is experienced as a snapping of the trigger finger when relaxing a fist. If the condition worsens, the trigger finger may need active force from other fingers to straighten, or may not straighten at all.

What are the treatments for Trigger Finger?

A surgery to release the tendon may be necessary. This procedure is a same day surgery that can be done under local anesthetic or regional nerve block. A small (less than 2 cm) incision is made in the skin, and the tight portion of the flexor tendon sheath is released.

Following the procedure, a sterile bandage is applied to the site of surgery. This bandage is removed after a few days, and full use of the finger may then begin. Activity of the finger is encouraged as this will help prevent new adhesions (scar) from forming where the surgery was performed. Full recovery is expected for surgery.

There are different treatments depending on condition which Dr.Kevin yip will advise during the consultation, if there is a need for a treatment or surgery. For an appointment with Dr.Kevin yip please call +65 6471 2691(24hours).