Hand Conditions

Nerve / Tendon:
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Focal Dystonia Syndrome
Guyon's Canal Syndrome
Hypothenar Hammer Syndrome
Trigger Finger/Tenosynovitis

Bone / Joint:
Arthritis of the Hand
Arthritis of the Thumb (Basilar Joint)
Dupuytren's Disease
Navicular Avascular Necrosis (and Kienböck's disease)

Trigger Finger/Tenosynovitis

Also known as Tenosynovitis, Trigger Finger or thumb is named for the "trigger" or flicking motion that is caused when the affected finger is extended. This happens when a stress placed on the tendons that help bend the fingers and thumb causes irritation and corresponding restriction in the already snug tunnel through which they slide. While flexion remains relatively unaffected, extending the finger or thumb in this environment causes the tendon to become momentarily stuck at the mouth of the tunnel before popping free as it continues to slip through the constricted area. This may cause pain.

Following a period of inactivity, stiffness and "catching" may become worse. As it loosens throughout the day, it may begin to feel unstable. And in severe cases, the finger may become stuck in a bent position.

Risk Factors
While the exact cause of Trigger Finger is unclear, the condition most often affects women between the ages of 40 and 60. It is thought that this condition is often secondary to an existing medical condition, as many of the patients suffering from trigger finger also suffer from other conditions such as diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis, or have a history of repeated injury to the affected area.

Diagnosis and Treatment
Easily diagnosed, the symptoms generally point to trigger finger or thumb. And a thorough patient history review and physical examination of the affected area confirms the diagnosis without further tests.

Conservative treatment is all that is indicated in mild cases, which generally entails resting the affected hand. Anti-inflammatory medication may also be recommended in order to alleviate pain. More severe cases failing to respond to initial conservative treatment may require splinting to maintain the finger or thumb in a position of rest. Cortisone treatments may also be used. In those cases nonresponsive to the described courses of conservative treatment, Trigger Release may be indicated.