Trigger Finger is a condition that is characterized by a clicking or locking sensation when bending or straightening the finger. The condition is named after the triggering motion that the finger makes when it snaps back into place. Trigger Finger is most commonly seen in individuals over 40 years of age with diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis, but it can also occur in young individuals who engage in repetitive hand use, such as off-road bikers, climbers, and motorcyclists.

Causes of Trigger Finger:

The exact mechanism that causes trigger finger is not yet fully understood, but it is known to be related to the tendons and their sheaths that control finger movement. Tendons are the fibrous structures that connect muscles to bones and allow for movement. Each tendon is surrounded by a protective sheath, which allows it to move smoothly within its tunnel. Inflammation and swelling of the tendon sheath cause the tendon to catch or stick, making finger movement difficult.

Symptoms and Diagnosis of Trigger Finger:

The most common symptom of Trigger Finger is a catching or locking sensation when bending or straightening the finger. At first, this may be accompanied by pain or discomfort, but as the condition progresses, the finger may become stuck in a bent position. Diagnosis is made by a physical examination and medical history, as X-rays are not typically necessary.

Treatment of Trigger Finger:

The initial treatment for Trigger Finger is usually conservative and involves rest, anti-inflammatory medication, and wearing a splint to immobilize the finger. If these measures are unsuccessful, corticosteroid injections may be administered to reduce inflammation and swelling. The duration of symptom relief from corticosteroid injections varies from patient to patient, but it can last from a few weeks to a few months. Recurrence of symptoms is common.

For chronic and severe cases, surgical intervention may be necessary. The surgery involves releasing the constricted portion of the tendon sheath to allow smooth movement of the tendon. Postoperative physiotherapy and rehabilitation may be necessary to restore finger function fully.

In conclusion, Trigger Finger is a common condition that can cause discomfort and affect finger movement. Conservative treatments such as rest and medication may provide relief, but for chronic and severe cases, surgical intervention may be necessary. If you experience any symptoms of Trigger Finger, consult with a healthcare professional for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.