Trigger finger – also known as stenosing tenosynovitis – is a painful condition that causes the flexor tendon in the finger to lock, causing the finger to become stuck in a bent position. You may be able to straighten it by flexing the finger or pulling on it. The condition may vary in severity and tends to worsen as time goes on.
Here at W27 we offer a highly effective treatment for trigger finger. This blog covers the basics of this common condition and its treatment.
What is trigger finger and trigger thumb?
Trigger finger and trigger thumb are common conditions that most often affect women. It is caused by a narrowing of the sheath that the tendon slides through and is normally due to thickening of the retinaculum and/or inflammation of the tendon. In the worst cases, the finger or thumb may become locked in a bent position and require significant force to straighten it.
What are the symptoms of trigger finger?
Trigger finger normally develops gradually. It may begin with a painful bump at the base of the affected finger which may start to click when you move it. Eventually, the finger may bend towards the palm of the hand and become stuck in a bent position. The fingers most often affected are the middle and ring finger and it can also affect the thumb. Symptoms include:
- Pain on the palm side of the affected finger or thumb.
- A clicking sound or catching sensation when you move it.
- Pain when you apply pressure to the area.
- The finger or thumb becoming stuck in a bent position.
Who is at risk of trigger finger?
You are more likely to develop trigger finger if you have a job that involves using your hands and upper limbs continuously. It often affects electricians or carpenters as well as people involved in certain types of sporting activity, such as racket sports or climbing. If you are diabetic or have other endocrinal and metabolic disorders you may also be at risk.
Treatment of trigger finger
If you suspect you may have trigger finger or trigger thumb, it is important to get a diagnosis. You may be able to reduce the symptoms by modifying certain activities, although it can take a long time for any improvements to be felt. A physiotherapist may be able to recommend stretches to relieve pain and improve mobility in the affected area.
However, if the condition is severe, one of the most effective treatments is ultrasound guided corticosteroid injections. We routinely see patients with the condition for steroid injections and experience a high success rate, with many people experiencing relief from the problem after one or two treatments.
How do ultrasound guided steroid injections work?
Ultrasound-guided corticosteroid injections work by delivering a small dose of steroids close to the inflamed tendon, helping to reduce inflammation and relieve pain. Steroids mimic the activity of hormones that are naturally produced in our adrenal glands to reduce inflammation in our body.
Ultrasound imaging is used to guide the position of the needle to ensure the medication is delivered with complete accuracy to the affected area. The risks associated with this procedure are low as the amount of steroid used is small and the chance of damaging surrounding soft tissues is minimised by using ultrasound imaging. You may experience a slight bruising around the injection site, skin discolouration or a small amount of fat loss. Infections from this type of injection are rare.
If you have trigger finger or trigger thumb, or other painful conditions affecting the hands or wrists (such as carpal tunnel syndrome or DeQuervain’s tendonitis) talk to us about the benefits of ultrasound guided steroid injections.
If you have suffered a sporting injury, whether due to an accident or as a result of long-term damage, contact W27 for specialist advice and diagnosis.
SPORTS INJURY TREATMENT | MANCHESTER, LONDON, CHESHIRE + MORE
W27 provides fast, accurate diagnosis and treatment of musculoskeletal symptoms and conditions using the latest state-of-the-art imaging facilities.
For your appointment there is a choice of locations:
The OrthTeam Centre Ohm Building – 168 Barlow Moor Road, Manchester, M20 2AF
Euxton Hall Hospital – Wigan Road, Euxton, Chorley, PR7 6DY
MedSerena Upright MRI Centre Manchester – 26-28 The Boulevard, Manchester, M20 2EU
The John Charnley Wing, Wrightington Hospital – Hall Lane, Appley Bridge, Wigan, WN6 9EP
The Spire Manchester – 170 Barlow Moor Road, Didsbury, Manchester, M20 2AF
MedSerena Upright MRI Centre London – 114a Cromwell Road, Kensington, London, SW7 4ES
HCA The Wilmslow Hospital – 52 Alderley Road, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 1NY
Information about our Fees can be found here.
If you have any questions or would like to discuss your options with a specialist, please contact the team to book an initial consultation.