Trigger Finger

“Trigger finger” is the term used by your New Orleans orthopaedic specialist when one of your fingers or your thumb gets stuck in a bent position and then straightens with a snap — like a trigger being pulled and released. If trigger finger is severe, your finger may become locked in a bent position.

trigger finger | New Orleans orthopedic surgeonPeople whose work or hobbies require repetitive gripping actions are more susceptible. Trigger finger is also more common in women and in anyone with diabetes.

Symptoms of Trigger Finger

Symptoms of trigger finger may progress from mild to severe and include:

  • Finger stiffness, particularly in the morning;
  • A popping or clicking sensation as you move your finger;
  • Tenderness or a bump at the base of the affected finger;
  • Finger catching or locking in a bent position, which suddenly pops straight;
  • Finger locked in a bent position, which you are unable to straighten.

Trigger finger more commonly occurs in your dominant hand, and most often affects your thumb or your middle or ring finger. More than one finger may be affected at a time, and both hands might be involved.

Tests and Diagnosis of Trigger Finger

Diagnosis of trigger finger doesn’t require any elaborate testing. Your orthopaedic specialist in New Orleans makes the diagnosis based on your medical history and a physical exam.

During the physical exam, your orthopaedic surgeon will ask you to open and close your hand, checking for areas of pain, smoothness of motion and evidence of locking.

Treatment of Trigger Finger

Trigger finger treatment varies depending on its severity and duration.

For mild or infrequent symptoms, these approaches may be effective:

  • Splinting the finger;
  • Finger exercises;
  • Avoiding repetitive gripping.

For more-serious symptoms, your doctor may recommend other approaches, including:

  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications;
  • Steroids;
  • Percutaneous trigger finger release procedure;
  • Surgery.

If you have any stiffness or catching in a finger joint, bring it to the attention of your New Orleans orthopaedic specialist so that he or she may review your symptoms and perform a physical evaluation of your hand. If your finger joint is hot and inflamed, seek immediate medical care because these signs indicate a possible infection.

We want to be your trusted Orthopaedic Specialists of New Orleans.  If you are experiencing the symptoms of a trigger finger please call our office at (504) 897-7877 and a member of our caring staff will be happy to help you.

Thank you for trusting us with your care!

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