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Snapping into Action: How to Identify? Prevention and Treatment of Trigger Finger

How to Identify? Prevention and Treatment of Trigger Finger Dr Debjyoti Dutta

In this Article - Learn how to identify, prevent, and treat trigger finger in this comprehensive blog post. Discover symptoms, risk factors, and non-surgical treatments.


Trigger finger is a condition that affects the fingers. In this condition, the fingers get stuck and the tendons of the hand become swollen.

 

What are the symptoms of a trigger finger?

 Symptoms of the trigger finger often begin mildly and worsen over time. Usually, when we try to grasp something or try to straighten our fingers, the main things that are seen are:

  • Finger Abnormalities: The trigger finger acts abnormally one or more times

  • Weakness in fingers: There may be a feeling of weakness in the fingers while doing any work.

  • Finger ringing: A finger ringing can be easily heard.

  • Pain in the finger: Pain in the finger occurs while working.


What can cause a trigger finger?


  • Overexertion of work: Repeated use of fingers in very demanding work can cause problems.

  • Nerve problems: In some cases trigger fingers can be caused by nerve problems, which can reduce the ability of the fingers to move properly.

  • Prolonged work: Sometimes this is likely to happen due to continuous finger work for a long time.

 

What are the risk factors of Trigger Finger?


  • Age: It usually occurs between the ages of 40 and 60 years.

  • Gender: It is more common in women than men.

  • Medical conditions: May occur in patients with diabetes, gout, and rheumatoid arthritis.

  • Occupations: Certain occupations where a lot of fingers are used can be seen such as farming, and blacksmithing.

 

Non-Surgical Treatments of Trigger Finger:


No X-rays or lab tests are needed to diagnose trigger finger pain. Doctors can diagnose it through a physical examination of the hand and fingers, along with a physical examination.

Trigger finger treatments can be done in a variety of ways, such as:

  • Minimize finger movement and avoid heavy work on it, the hand should be relaxed as much as possible.

  • Do some stretching exercises that can improve blood circulation while maintaining flexibility and range of motion in the fingers.

  • Medicines: Depending on the type of pain, the doctor may prescribe medicines that can reduce the pain such as ibuprofen or naproxen.

  • • USG Guided Corticosteroid injections: If pain relievers do not work, surgery may be needed. Doctors can numb the pain around the affected fingers with local anaesthesia and inject it into the tendons, which can reduce the swelling of the tendons. It can last for a year or more.

  • Ultrasound-guided Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) injection for the trigger finger is an advanced procedure utilizing ultrasound imaging for precise treatment.

Ultrasound-guided steroid injection for trigger finger -


Ultrasound-guided steroid injection for a trigger finger  is a medical procedure used to treat a condition known as trigger finger or trigger thumb. A trigger finger occurs when the tendons in the fingers or thumb become inflamed, causing them to catch or lock when the affected digit is bent. Steroid injections are a common treatment option to reduce inflammation and alleviate symptoms.

The procedure involves the following steps:

1.     Patient Positioning: The patient is typically seated or lying down, depending on the specific setup of the medical facility. The hand that needs treatment is placed in a comfortable position.

2.     Ultrasound Imaging: An ultrasound machine is used to create real-time images of the affected finger or thumb. Ultrasound allows the healthcare provider to visualize the anatomy of the tendons, ligaments, and surrounding structures in detail.

3.     Localization of the Injection Site: The physician uses ultrasound images to precisely locate the inflamed tendon sheath responsible for the triggering effect. This accurate visualization helps ensure that the steroid medication is injected into the correct location.

4.     Steroid Injection: A local anaesthetic may be administered to numb the injection site. Following this, a corticosteroid (anti-inflammatory medication) is injected directly into the affected tendon sheath. The steroid helps to reduce inflammation and alleviate the symptoms of the trigger finger.

5.     Post-Injection Care: After the procedure, the patient may be advised to rest the hand for a short period. Some healthcare providers recommend gentle exercises to promote mobility, while others may suggest avoiding strenuous activities for a brief period.

Ultrasound guidance enhances the precision of the injection, increasing the likelihood of targeting the inflamed area accurately. This technique is particularly useful when dealing with small or deep structures, as it provides real-time visualization that can improve the effectiveness of the treatment while minimizing potential side effects.


Ultrasound-guided Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) injection for the trigger -


Ultrasound-guided Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) injection for the trigger finger is an advanced procedure utilizing ultrasound imaging for precise treatment. Targeting the inflammation of finger tendons causing catching or locking during bending, this method follows specific steps. The patient is positioned comfortably, and ultrasound creates real-time images of the affected area. With ultrasound guidance, the physician precisely identifies the inflamed tendon sheath for targeted PRP injection. Before the procedure, a small blood sample is drawn, processed to concentrate platelets and growth factors, and the resulting PRP is prepared. A local anaesthetic is administered, followed by the injection of PRP directly into the affected tendon sheath, aiming to leverage its healing properties. Post-injection care may include rest and rehabilitation exercises. While evolving evidence suggests PRP as a potential treatment, decisions should be made considering individual conditions and medical history. This method may be considered when conservative measures prove insufficient for trigger finger relief.


What are the ways to prevent trigger fingers?

  • Reduce overuse of fingers and thumb.

  • Adhere to proper finger posture for sports or work.

  • Long-term tasks that involve repeated use of the fingers require occasional breaks.


About The Author -


Renowned as a distinguished pain specialist and accomplished author, Dr. Debjyoti Dutta is affiliated with Samobathi Pain Clinic and Fortis Hospital in Kolkata. Currently serving as a registrar at the Indian Academy of Pain Medicine, Dr. Dutta specializes in musculoskeletal ultrasound and interventional pain management. His notable contributions to the field are evidenced through impactful publications such as "Musculoskeletal Ultrasound in Pain Medicine" and "Clinical Methods in Pain Medicine," providing profound insights into effective pain management strategies. In addition to his clinical roles, Dr. Dutta acts as a faculty member for the Asian Pain Academy Courses, playing a pivotal role in delivering high-quality pain management fellowship training in Kolkata, India. His unwavering dedication significantly contributes to the education and professional development of individuals in the field.

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