Trigger Finger Treatment Options

If you have been experiencing a locking sensation in one of your fingers, you may have trigger finger. The condition affects the fibrous connective tissues in the hand, causing the fingers to lock painfully and make a snapping sound when bent. In our state-of-the-art facilities in Cedar Park and Austin, TX, Dr. Gregg A. Vagner offers both surgical and non-surgical trigger finger treatment options, depending on the severity of the symptoms. We will work with you to develop a personalized treatment plan that will alleviate your uncomfortable symptoms and restore mobility to your finger.

What is Trigger Finger?

Tendons which connect to the arm allow for movement of the fingers and thumbs. The tendons travel through a sheath. If these tissues become inflamed, the sheath narrows, making it difficult for the tendon to move correctly. 

Repetitive movements are the most common cause of trigger finger.

Inflammation can make it more difficult to bend one of your fingers or thumbs. It may also make a popping or snapping sound as you straighten it again. Trigger finger generally affects just one finger or thumb at a time.

What are the Causes and Symptoms of Trigger Finger?

Repetitive movements are the most common cause of trigger finger. Individuals who type or write regularly for work are at a higher risk of developing trigger finger. Gripping power tools and other objects for extended periods of time can also cause this type of inflammation. 

In general, women, especially those over 40, develop trigger finger more often than men. Patients with rheumatoid arthritis or diabetes are also at a higher risk of developing the condition. 

Common Symptoms

The symptoms of trigger finger can range from mild discomfort to more moderate pain. Symptoms may include:

  • Popping and locking of a finger or thumb
  • Stiffness in the finger or thumb, especially in the morning
  • A tender bump at the base of the affected finger or thumb
  • Finger or thumb locking in a bent or straight position
  • Deformity of the finger or thumb
  • Swelling of the hand

Developing a Personalized Treatment Plan

Conservative Treatment Options

Most treatment plans for trigger finger begin with conservative options. Your personalized treatment may include medications and physical therapy. These can help reduce inflammation in the tissues and restore mobility to the affected finger or thumb. We may recommend taking at least a couple weeks off from whatever activity caused the injury. We may also have you wear a splint to keep the finger or thumb from locking in a bent position.

If these methods do not ease your discomfort, we may recommend steroid injections as the next course of action. Steroid injections can help reduce inflammation and are effective in most non-diabetic patients. 

Surgical Treatments

If conservative treatment options are unsuccessful at relieving your pain, or your condition is too severe for these treatments to be effective, we may recommend surgery. We offer both conventional and endoscopic surgical methods.

Endoscopic surgery is less invasive than conventional surgery, but it is not appropriate for everyone. During a consultation, Dr. Vagner will determine if surgery is necessary and which type of procedure will prove most effective.

Schedule an Appointment

If you are experiencing any symptoms of trigger finger, contact our orthopedic practice today to schedule an appointment. Use our online form or call (512) 476-2830.