Trigger Finger Surgery

Trigger finger surgery is a minimally-invasive procedure where the surgeon opens a narrowed tendon pulley at the base of a finger or thumb affected by the trigger digit. Opening the pulley prevents the nodule from catching, allowing the affected digit to flex and naturally extend with no triggering or pain.

What You Need To Know About Trigger Finger Surgery

What is Trigger Finger?

Trigger finger, or stenosing tenosynovitis, is a debilitating condition that causes a person's finger to stick in a bent position. Inflammation shrinks the space within the sheath surrounding the compromised finger's tendon, which locks it in a bent position.

Trigger finger most often occurs in the ring finger or thumb. People with occupations or hobbies that involve repetitive gripping are most at risk of developing trigger fingers. Also, women and people with diabetes more commonly develop the condition.

The experts at Resurgens Orthopaedics can help alleviate painful conditions that affect your fingers. Book an appointment to see a Hand and Wrist Center expert today!

Why is Trigger Finger Surgery Performed?

Trigger finger conditions can range in severity. Individuals with chronic pain or loss of function should consider a surgical procedure to fix their trigger finger. A person with an irritated or inflamed tendon may experience continuous irritation, which results in scarring, thickening, or nodule formation in the affected finger.

The flexor tendon may worsen over time and require the afflicted patient to straighten their finger with their other hand to move it. If the condition continues to cause pain or loss of function in the finger entirely, a surgeon may recommend a trigger finger procedure to prevent permanent stiffness.

How to Prepare for Trigger Finger Surgery

Patients may require different instructions to prepare for trigger finger surgery, depending on the severity of their condition. A person may need to perform exercises, attend physical therapy, or use a splint to help unlock their afflicted finger before the procedure.

All patients will need to refrain from eating the day before surgery and only drink water. A physician will disclose specific instructions for each unique case before surgery.

What Happens During Trigger Finger Surgery?

To begin the surgical procedure, a doctor will administer general anesthesia to the patient and sterilize the afflicted area. The patient will place their hand palm-up as the doctor places a tourniquet on the hand. They will make a small incision in the palm to release the A1 pulley and expose the tendon.

The surgeon will use a scalpel or scissors to divide the pulley and release the constricted tendon. Once the outpatient operation is complete, the doctor will close the incision with sutures and bandage the hand. The patient may leave the hospital the same day and will continue rehabilitation after surgery.

Are there Risks Associated with Trigger Finger Surgery?

Trigger finger surgery is relatively safe, and complications are rare. However, common risks during surgery include:

  • Infection

  • Nerve injury

  • Bleeding

  • Temporary soreness or swelling

  • Inability to straighten the operated finger

  • Finger stiffness

Post Trigger Finger Procedure & Recovery

Trigger finger surgery recovery time could take up to 4 to 6 months. During that time the incision will heal but patients may experience swelling and stiffness in the hand, fingers, or thumb. Patients should wear a bandage for four to five days post-surgery but will not need to take any time off post-surgery. The patient's finger will likely be sore for several days, but they should be able to conduct simple tasks such as typing on a keyboard immediately after the procedure.

Patients should perform hand exercises and hold their afflicted hand above the heart to reduce swelling at home. The intensity of rehabilitation will differ from person to person. Avoid strenuous activity for several weeks and consult with your physician for a successful recovery.

Visit a Resurgens Orthopaedics expert to learn more about trigger finger surgery and hand procedures. Book your appointment now!

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