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Trigger Finger

Dr. Steven Rueda is one of the most sought after doctors for trigger finger in Palm Beach. The condition is called “trigger”, because it causes the fingers to get locked in the bent position that is required to trigger of a weapon. It can occur in any finger of the hand including the thumb. It is usually caused by inflammation of the lining that covers the tendons that help bend the fingers.

Trigger Finger Symptoms and Diagnosis

The symptoms arising from trigger finger are related to inability of the tendon to glide easily through the pulley system. Some of the most common symptoms include:

 

  • Locking and catching after bending the finger
  • Pain at the base of the finger
  • Inability to make a full fist or fully open the hand

In some cases patients present with all of the symptoms, and in some cases only with some of them. In some cases patient’s present only with pain at the base of the finger when its early in the process.

The diagnosis of trigger finger is usually performed by clinical examination and history.

WHAT CAUSES Trigger Finger?

The tendons heading towards the fingers travel through a tunnel that is made of structures called “pulleys”. This tunnel is very tight, and any inflammation in the tendon limits the ability of the tendon to glide smoothly. Patient’s with trigger finger have increased inflammation in the tendon lining which leads to increased friction in the tunnel. These changes translate into symptoms of locking, catching, pain, and limited motion of the finger.

Trigger Finger Treatment Options

There are three main ways to treat trigger finger: activity modification and splints, steroid injections, and surgery. Splints are effective only in patient’s who have had recent onset of triggering; sometimes splints are prescribed to allow improved pain control arising from finger movement. Steroid injections are an excellent alternative for most patient’s who present for the first time for evaluation. An injection containing steroid and local anesthesia is placed around the tendons to reduce the inflammation in the area. Injections may cure the symptoms in 50-70% of the patients. Surgery is indicated for patients who have failed conservative treatment or steroid injections. The advantage of surgery is it has the highest success rate of all the options previously mentioned.

Trigger Finger Procedure

Dr. Rueda performs trigger finger using a traditional open surgery. The procedure removes inflammation from the tendon lining and opens up the tight tunnel or “pulley” that leads to locking of the finger.

 

Incisions

Are made along a vertical direction in midline with the finger.

RECOVERY AND DOWNTIME

Outpatient procedure. Most patients are actually surprised at having less pain that they expected. There is tightness, swelling for the first few days after surgery. An elastic bandage is applied and removed in a day. The patient then begins therapy to gradually increase the movement in the fingers.

Most patients generally return to work in 1-2 days. Weight lifting and manual exercise is not allowed until 3 weeks after the surgery.

Why Choose Precision Hand Center for your Trigger Finger Procedure?

Dr. Rueda, a Hand Fellowship trained surgeon who has 7 years and 2,000 procedures of experience will be your safe and best choice for trigger finger. Successful results in this procedure requires a surgeon that is experienced and knowledgeable in hand surgery and hand anatomy. Dr. Rueda has published articles in peer reviewed journals and his work has been presented in several national conferences. Dr. Rueda’s passion for patient education and custom centered approach will guarantee you feel comfortable every step of the way. Dr. Rueda also believes in treating his patients as if he was treating his own family; you can trust you will enter a trusting and long-term relationship and have some of the best trigger finger treatment Palm Beach can offer.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ)

Patients with classic history, symptoms, and exam who have failed conservative treatment are good candidates for the procedure.

It is uncommon but its possible. The recurrence rate of trigger finger is very small. If it happens surgery focuses on releasing the tendon from scar and freeing up more of the tunnel if necessary.

Complications are very rare in trigger finger surgery; it is a very safe procedure. Some of the uncommon risks include infection and bleeding of the surgical site. There are also other major complications that are very unlikely including damage to the tendons.