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  • Writer's pictureDr Dagbue

Demystifying Trigger Finger Condition: Understanding Digital Age's Hidden Pain

In the age of digital connectivity, certain health conditions are becoming increasingly prevalent due to overuse of smart devices. Today, we will look at a common hand and wrist issue, known as a 'trigger finger' or 'trigger thumb', its causes, symptoms, and treatment options.

 

A hand held in a flexed position

Demystifying Trigger Finger Condition

A trigger finger or thumb refers to a painful condition in which the finger locks or sticks when bent. While it can affect any finger, the condition can sometimes even occur in both hands simultaneously or in more than one finger in the same hand. In medical terminology, this condition is referred to as stenosing tenosynovitis.

Recognizing the Symptoms

A trigger finger or thumb manifests in various ways. The most common symptom is a locked finger that can't be straightened or, in late-stage cases, a straight finger that cannot be bent. Patients might also experience a tender lump at the base of the affected finger, associated with pain. Further, a painful clicking, snapping, popping, or sticking sensation can occur when you bend or straighten your finger.

Causes and Risk Factors

The trigger finger condition is typically caused by inflammation in the tendons or bands (referred to as pulleys) that enable finger movement. When these structures become inflamed and enlarged, they can cause discomfort or prevent normal finger movement.

Trigger finger is more likely to occur in individuals between the ages of 40 and 60 and is more common in women, likely due to hormonal changes. Certain health conditions, such as diabetes, gout, and rheumatoid arthritis, can predispose individuals to this condition. Furthermore, professions requiring repetitive finger and thumb movements, like farmers, industrial workers, and musicians, are at higher risk of developing this condition.

Diagnosing Trigger Finger

A trigger finger diagnosis is generally made based on a physical examination of the patient's hand and fingers. Therefore, if you experience symptoms related to this condition, it's crucial to seek medical help.

Treatment Options

Treatment for a trigger finger varies based on the severity of the symptoms. Initial remedies involve resting the hand from repetitive activities. In cases where cessation of activity isn't possible, using a finger splint or padded gloves can help reduce symptoms.

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), either over the counter or prescribed, are also beneficial as they decrease inflammation in the involved pulley. If these interventions don't yield results, a steroid injection at the point of the inflamed pulley is a treatment.

Surgical options are available for severe or stubborn cases. Minimal access surgery, also known as percutaneous release of the tight tendon sheath, is an initial surgical intervention. If symptoms persist, trigger finger release surgery can be performed. Both surgeries aim to release the inflamed pulley, easing the tension and allowing for normal finger movement again.

Conclusion

In this digital age, conditions like trigger finger are increasingly common. Recognizing symptoms early, seeking medical help promptly, and adhering to prescribed treatment protocols can ensure a swift recovery from this treatable condition. Whether you're a smartphone addict, a devoted musician, or a tireless industrial worker, paying heed to your hand health can spare you from unnecessary discomfort and inconvenience.

So, remember, if you experience any popping or sticking of your fingers, don't ignore it. You might have a trigger finger, but help is readily available.


I hope we were successful in demystifying the trigger finger condition

Thanks for reading. If you find this information beneficial, don't forget to share this blog post with others. Your actions could help someone else understand and manage their symptoms more effectively.

As always, please share your thoughts or experiences in the comments below. We love hearing from you

2 Comments


Samira Smith
Samira Smith
Jul 08, 2023

An exemplary and explanatory piece that was quite enlightening Dr, thank you.

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Guest
Jul 08, 2023

Excellent and very informative information.

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