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Trigger finger surgery

Trigger finger surgery is a surgical treatment to release the narrowed pulley which causes the popping sensation when the finger is moved. After the surgery, the tendons could glide easily again in the sheath and the range of motion of the finger would be fully restored.

What is a trigger finger?

Trigger finger (stenosing tenosynovitis) is one of the most common disorders on the hand, caused by tenosynovitis. It is accompanied with the narrowing of the pulleys around the flexor tendon, which blocks its gliding through the pulley, resulting in difficulty in flexing or extending the finger.

Its name comes from the triggering phenomenon when the finger unlocks, it pops back like a releasing trigger on a gun.

The formation of the disorder is most common among women, between the ages 40-60. Nowadays, due to the outrageous use of electronic devices, it affects younger age groups as well.

What causes a trigger finger?

The movements of the fingers are the result of a complex process: ligaments move the bones according to the muscular functions. The flexor tendon runs through a tunnel, called tendon sheath. This sheath is covered with synovium, which helps the tendon to glide easily.

Trigger finger occurs if the tendon thickens or a node forms on its surface or the pulley inflames and swell. The tendon cannot glide through the thickened pulley, which causes the popping sensation and noise.

If the glide of the tendon becomes difficult or it stuck, that intensifies the inflammation and the swell around the pulley, which results in an infinite loop without treatment. Sometimes the finger could lock in a bent or stretched position.

The causes of trigger finger are unclear, an excessive load of the hand, repeating movements, the injury of the palm, scarring, certain diseases (diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis) could also predispose to its formation.

The causes of a trigger finger
The causes of a trigger finger

What are the symptoms of a trigger finger?

The first symptom of a trigger finger is the pressure sensitivity and the tangible swelling at the base of the fingers, on the palm side. These symptoms are caused by the swollen tendon sheath. The stenosis forms here, but the popping sensation is felt at the middle phalanx, or in case of the thumb, at the distal phalanx. The affected finger moves harder, and the patient could feel it got thicker too.

The symptoms are more intense in the morning, ease during the day, but don’t cease.

Without treatment the symptoms may cumulate, the finger movements may become difficult, in some cases, the patient can bend or stretch the affected finger only with his other hand.

What are the treatments for a trigger finger?

A common symptom of a trigger finger
A common symptom of a trigger finger

The goal of the treatment is to dissolve the block of the flexor tendon and the swelling around it to allow full, painless movement of the finger.

If the treatment starts at an early stage of the disease, the complaints can be treated in a non-surgical way. The inflammation of the tendons could be cured with night splints to rest the hand, and with anti-inflammatory medications or steroid injections to stop the inflammation.

Trigger finger could be treated surgically as well.

When is trigger finger surgery recommended?

Trigger finger surgery is recommended, if the condition keeps the patient from his daily activity, the affected finger is completely immobilized, or the conservative (non-surgical) treatment was not effective and/or the symptoms recur.

What happens during the trigger finger surgery?

The surgery is always preceded by a personal consultation with the hand surgeon specialist. During the consultation, he provides detailed information about the necessary pre-operative tests, the process of the operation and its risks.

The surgery is usually performed as a one-day surgery. The arm is in local or regional anesthesia during the intervention.

The hand surgeon makes a longitudinal incision at the opening of the tendon sheath, then he releases the pulley at the base of the finger. In parallel, the nodule-shaped thickening of the tendon wall is eliminated. Finally, the surgeon closes the wound with a few stitches.

After a few hours of medical monitoring, the patient can leave our hospital.

What are the risks of the surgery?

Like every surgical intervention, the trigger finger surgery may have risks and complications. Very rarely the operational area may become inflamed, infected, and the adjacent anatomical structures – tendons, muscles, blood vessels, nerves, neighboring bones – may get injured. In some cases, pharmaceutical treatment might be needed, while in more severe cases, the operation might have to be repeated.

The most serious complication may be the inflammation of the treated area, which can be prevented by the strict adherence to the hygiene rules.

What shall I do after the surgery?

The day after the surgery, the bandage should be changed, and the removal of the stitches is due 8-10 days after the intervention. During these days, keep the wound away from water.

It is recommended to perform easy exercises with the previously locked finger.

The wound may remain swollen, sensitive and painful for a few days after the surgery. Finger motion returns quickly, but the full recovery takes 3-6 weeks. As the pain ceases completely, the patient can return to his daily activity.

Occasionally physiotherapy is needed to regain better use of the finger.

How much does a trigger finger surgery cost?

The price of a trigger finger surgery is composed of several elements. At our hospital, the listed trigger finger surgery cost includes the surgery and the check-up one week after surgery.

We offer a separate consultation package for the first consultation, where the hand surgeon specialist decides if the surgery is recommended. The necessary pre-operative examinations can be taken at our hospital, which has an additional cost.

Our goal is to offer you the most reasonable trigger finger surgery price for the highest quality service and care.

Medicover Hospital Hungary
Medicover Hospital Hungary

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