What is a trigger finger?
A trigger finger is a condition that causes the finger to get stuck in a bent position. When straightening your finger, you might feel a snap—like a trigger. In severe cases, the finger can become stuck in a bent position.
The tendons in your hand are held tight to the bones and traverse a tunnel to create a pulley system for the fingers. This works similarly to how a line is held on a fishing pole. A trigger finger is caused by inflammation or swelling in the tendons. The inflammation causes the tendon to be caught in the tunnel and creates a catching or snapping sensation. This condition can commonly occur with repetitive gripping motions or certain medical conditions such as diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis.
Not every patient with one of these conditions needs surgery. Many patients are able to recover with rest, anti-inflammatory medications, and steroid injections.
When do patients need trigger finger release surgery?
A trigger finger release surgery is necessary when conservative treatment measures fail to alleviate symptoms. The goal of the surgery is to allow the tendons to glide without getting caught.
To determine if trigger finger release surgery is the right choice for you, Dr. Weinheimer performs a thorough physical examination and reviews your medical history carefully. If he determines that surgery is the best course of action, he explains why the procedure is necessary and how it can help you heal.
What are the risks?
Trigger finger release surgery carries risks like most other surgical procedures, including:
- Allergic reaction to anesthesia
- Excessive bleeding
- Postoperative pain
- Infection at the surgical site
- Damage to surrounding tissues
In some cases, surgery may not be successful, and you may continue experiencing symptoms even after your recovery period. However, as an experienced hand and upper extremity surgeon, Dr. Weinheimer knows how to perform these procedures as safely and effectively as possible.
How fast do patients recover from trigger finger release surgery?
Most patients will go home the day of surgery. Most patients can resume their normal activities within two weeks. Before scheduling your surgery, Dr. Weinheimer explains your expected recovery time, as well as the instructions you must follow while you heal. Following all these instructions carefully ensures that you recover from the procedure as quickly as possible.