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Trigger Finger

By Bjarne Lühr Hansen PhD, MD and Philipp Skafte-Holm MD, Mentor Institute

Trigger finger is seen in children and middle-aged. It is discovered when a finger is locked in a bent position, or only with difficulty can be straightened out - and then with a jump. The treatment is effective and consists of corticosteroid injection in the tendon or surgery.

Trigger finger is most common in women over 40 years and young children, but can occur at all.

From the forearm muscles runs tendons out of your fingers so the fingers can be bent and stretched. The tendons run inside a tendon sheath - like a knife in its sheath. For unknown reasons, the tendon become thickened inside the palm, where your fingers begin. Forming a small knot in the tendon, which prevent the tendon from sliding freely in its sheath. When the knot is large enough, the finger can barely bend but do not pull – the knot locks the finger. If you assist, straighten the finger with the other hand the finger can - with a jump –.

In adults, the trigger finger is detected by the finger only with great difficulty can be straightened - and then in a jump. There is often pain and a little sore knot on your finger inside the palm of your hand - just where the finger starts.

In children, trigger finger is rare and typically discovered by the finger is locked in a bent position.

What can you do?

When the cause is unknown, you can do nothing to prevent the development of a trigger finger.

What can your doctor do?

The doctor may inject corticosteroids where the tendon is thickened. The treatment can be repeated after a few weeks if the effect is not satisfactory, but more than two injections is not recommended. Over half-experience good effect, but about 1/3 are referred to operation.

What can a specialist doctor do?

The medical specialist may perform an operation in which the thickening is cut through on the tendon, so the tendon runs freely again in its sheath. The effect is good in the vast majority. In children operation is extremely rare, training and brace treatment cures most.