Trigger Fingers is a form tenosynovitis that is associated with sports such as golf and tennis and, increasingly, through intensive use of computer games consoles and smart phones.
It is caused by an inflammatory condition that builds up with repetitive movements or long periods of gripping. The tendon becomes swollen and catches in its protective sheath, or tunnel, causing it to bunch up. It is more prevalent in women over the age of 40, people who have had previous finger injuries and rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes sufferers.
The finger bends towards the palm of the hand and will be stiff and painful in the morning and may be sensitive to the touch with a nodule developing at the base of the finger.
Trigger Finger – and Trigger Thumb – can be diagnosed by observation and medical history.
The first line of treatment is rest, anti-inflammatory medication and finger splints but a single corticosteroid injection can be considered in some cases.
Surgery, to allow the tendon to move freely again through the hand, can be performed under day surgery with a return to normal function expected in around two weeks. The operation is 100% effective.