older couple jogging

What is the treatment for trigger finger?

The goal of treatment is to eliminate the catching or locking and allow full movement of the finger without discomfort. This may be accomplished by non-surgical interventions such as:

  • wearing a splint
  • reducing activities that cause pain
  • oral steroids
  • steroid injection into the area around the tendon and pulley to reduce the inflammation

If non-surgical forms of treatment do not relieve the symptoms, surgery may be recommended. The goal of surgery is to widen the opening of the tunnel so the tendon can glide through it more easily, and can be performed as an outpatient in most cases.

Anesthesia can be: Local, Regional (arm block) or General.

Various surgical techniques involving scissors, needles, and endoscopes all have the common approach designed to release the first annular pulley and allow full unrestricted use of the finger.

Advansor TF - Advanced Surgical Tool

Newer devices such as the Advansor TF enable the surgeon to safely and effectively perform the procedure without the trauma of a scalpel. The process is "percutaneous," i.e. accomplished by inserting a needle into the skin.

The doctor will often do the procedure in his/her office or outpatient setting with minimal soft tissue trauma, often requiring no stitches.

If the surgeon and patient elect to perform the procedure in the office, this leads to lower cost for the patient, less time involved in treatment and no return office visit for suture removal.

Following the procedure, the hand is wrapped in a bulky, compressive dressing to aid in swelling reduction and minimize bleeding.


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What is the rehabilitation following percutaneous surgery?

Movement of the fingers should begin immediately after surgery. Normal use of the hand can usually be resumed when comfort permits.

The patient will experience pain, discomfort and swelling about the area of the surgery for the first 24 — 48 hours. The dressing should remain on until 48 hours after surgery.

The hand should be kept dry until a scab forms over the incision area, then it can be treated normally.

The middle joint of the finger may have occasional soreness for several months following the procedure.

What are the possible complications of a trigger finger release?

Trigger finger release surgery is very safe and effective; however, there are possible complications.

The trigger finger could return if there is an incomplete release of the tendon sheath.

As with any surgery, infection could occur.

Other possible complications include stiffness of the finger, damage to the tendon or nerves and development of scar tissue.