Trigger fingers develop when the tendons in your hand become restricted, leading to pain, stiffness, and a finger that's stuck in a bent position. If you have a trigger finger, expert hand surgeon Luke Nicholson, MD, can help. Dr. Nicholson has offices in Beverly Hills and at the Keck Medical Center in Downtown Los Angeles, California, where he specializes in using nonsurgical and minimally invasive surgical treatments for patients with trigger fingers. Call Luke Nicholson MD for more information or schedule a consultation using the online booking form today.
A trigger finger (stenosing tenosynovitis) is one that becomes bent and may be impossible to straighten. The cause is a problem with your tendon sheaths — protective structures in your hands that cover the flexor tendons.
These tendons are connective tissues that attach your forearm muscles to the bones of your fingers. When your muscles contract, the tendon moves smoothly to bend and straighten your fingers, passing through pulleys of tissue that hold the tendons closely to your finger bones.
At the base of each finger is the A1 pulley, which is most often responsible for trigger fingers. If the pulley becomes inflamed and thickened, it restricts the gliding movement of your flexor tendons inside the tendon sheath. In time, painful nodules may also develop.
As well as the telltale bent finger, you might also develop a tender lump on your palm at the base of the finger. You're likely to feel some pain when trying to bend or straighten your finger, and if you have nodules, there might be a catching or popping sensation.
Inactivity, including sleeping, tends to make the stiffness and catching sensations worse. In severe cases, the finger can get stuck in a bent position.
To begin with, Dr. Nicholson is likely to use nonsurgical treatment methods for trigger fingers. These could include:
If your condition doesn't improve using these methods, Dr. Nicholson can administer anti-inflammatory steroid injections into the tendon sheath serving your affected finger.
If you've had two steroid injections and still aren't seeing much improvement, Dr. Nicholson might discuss surgical options with you.
The surgical procedure for trigger fingers is called tenolysis or trigger finger release. The aim of the surgery is to make space for your flexor tendon by dividing the A1 pulley. Dr. Nicholson achieves this through a small incision in the palm of your hand or via the tip of a needle.
Dr. Nicholson customizes your anesthesia to suit your individual needs. You could have a local anesthetic to numb the surgery site and be wide awake for the procedure or have twilight sedation to make you sleepy and relaxed.
If you have a trigger finger, you can receive prompt, expert care at the office of Luke Nicholson MD. Call or book online today.