Dr. Kevin Yip

Dr Kevin Yip
Orthopaedic Surgeon
MBBS(UK), FRCS(EDIN), FAM(SING), FHKCOS(ORTHO)

Featured on Channel NewsAsia

Trigger Finger and Thumb

WHAT IS TRIGGER FINGER AND THUMB?

Trigger finger is a common disorder of the hand which causes painful snapping or locking of the fingers or thumb.

WHAT ARE THE CAUSES?

The exact cause of trigger finger or thumb is not readily evident. In many cases, the condition may be the result of repetitive strain of the area due to work or hobby activities.

Tasks that require monotonous grasping or prolonged use of tools for example scissors, screwdrivers, etc. which press firmly on the tendon sheath at the base of the finger or thumb may irritate the tendons and result in thickening of the tendons themselves or the tendon sheath.

Trigger finger may also be associated with conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, gout or metabolic disorders such as diabetes that produce changes in the connective tissues and synovium.

WHAT ARE THE TREATMENTS?

Conservative non-surgical treatment involves avoiding or modifying the activities that have caused the inflammation. Oral anti-inflammatory medications are used to reduce the inflammation or discomfort. Steroid injection may be administered directly into the tendon sheath to reduce the soft tissue swelling.

In the event when it does not respond to conservative treatment, surgery may be recommended. Surgery is performed where a horizontal incision is made in the palm at the base of the affected finger or thumb. The surgeon will release the first annular band, relieving the constriction of the tendon as it passes through the sheath.

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