Trigger digits

Trigger fingers are a common problem, seen in patients of all ages – sometimes babies are even born with it! The tendons of the thumb and each of the fingers pass through a sheath on the palm side of the hand that holds the tendon close to the bone and makes for strong and efficient flexion of the finger. Certain diseases and overuse activities can cause a thickening of this sheath, or inflammation of the tissue that surrounds the tendon (the tenosynovium). When this occurs, the normal, perfect fit of the tendon under the sheath is lost. Pain, catching and eventually locking of the finger can occur. Early treatment consists of anti-inflammatory medication or a cortisone injection. If these fail to provide relief, surgery is recommended. Traditionally, the sheath is opened through a small incision at the base of the finger. For some actively triggering digits, this procedure can be performed in the office by using a needle placed directly through the skin, and onto the tendon sheath, using the sharp edge of the needle to gradually cut through the part of the sheath causing the catching. Dr. Yu will review all of these treatment options with you, to determine which would be most appropriate based on your symptoms and your needs.

Read more:

  • American Society for Surgery of the Hand (ASSH)
  • American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS)
  • The American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery (ABOS)