Trigger finger (or stenosing tenosynovitis of the flexor tendons) is a condition characterized by locking of the involved fingers and a characteristic popping, as if releasing a trigger on a gun, every time an effort is made to pull the fingers straight. It is a common inflammatory disorder of the flexor tendon sheaths of the fingers and it usually affects the thumb. Therefore, it is called trigger thumb.
The inflammation of the tendon and the sheath blocks the movement of the tendon inside the osteofibrous tunnel through which it passes, at the level of the first annular (A1) pulley, which is located at the base of the finger. Trigger finger can be caused by rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, hypothyroidism and minor injuries that occur during manual work.
The acquired form of the disorder usually affects women between the ages of 40 and 60. Sensitivity at the base of the finger, where a painful nodule has formed, and functional impediment of the tendon are the main characteristics of the disorder. The finger can lock either when extended (in which case the patient is not able to flex it) or when flexed (in which case the patient is not able to extend it).
Congenital trigger thumb affects infants and becomes noticeable when the affected infants move their hands. The disorder blocks the tendon movement due to the congenital stenosis of the first annular (A1) pulley.
Specific clinical examination is required to diagnose the disorder. Treatment can either be conservative or surgical, depending on the stage of the disorder. Conservative treatment, which includes anti-inflammatory medication and splinting, is mainly applied in mild cases. Surgery is performed in cases when conservative treatment doesn’t yield the desired results.
Brief description of the procedure
This procedure requires local anesthesia. A small incision is made, the first annular (A1) pulley is cut and the fibrous sheath is opened in order to release the tendon. In cases of rheumatoid arthritis, the fibrous sheath remains intact, while the inflamed synovium is removed.
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Dr. Varnalidis always discusses and explains each procedure step by step. He also offers extensive post-surgery advice and is here to answer any question you might have, so that a smooth recovery and the best functional and aesthetic outcome are achieved.
Local or regional anesthesia
Duration of the procedure
Stay at the clinic
Necessary period before returning to everyday activities
- 2-3 days to use a vehicle
- 3-5 days to go back to work
- 3-4 weeks to go to the gym
1-2 months after the procedure