When Trigger Finger Tracy first made an appointment with the Hand Surgery Specialists of Texas, she was miserable and frankly, pretty scared. During the past few months, she had started experiencing something very unusual with her finger. When she bent her finger, and then tried to straighten her finger, it would always catch before popping out straight. This was especially painful when she tried to grip her stapler at her job as an administrative assistant. And since she couldn’t staple, the office had papers flying everywhere!
“At first, it scared me,” Trigger Finger Tracy explained to her doctor at the Hand Surgery Specialists of Texas, “my finger would lock as it was bent, then shoot straight out! I started noticing my symptoms early in the morning at work, and they’ve gotten worse over the past few months. But overall, by the afternoon, my symptoms seem to improve.” The doctor asked her if she had noticed any other symptoms, such as pain or swelling of the affected finger. When Trigger Finger Tracy explained that she was also experiencing those symptoms, the doctor performed a physical exam. After performing the exam and finding her finger locked in bent position, the doctor diagnosed her condition as trigger finger.
“Trigger finger? Wow, that sounds pretty terrifying!” Trigger Finger Tracy exclaimed. The doctor calmed her, and explained that trigger finger is a common hand condition in which one of your fingers straightens with a snap after being in a bent position, like a trigger being pulled and released. Trigger finger occurs when the flexor tendon in the affected finger becomes inflamed and swollen. When a person with trigger finger bends their finger, and attempts to straighten it, the inflamed tendon is pulled through the tendon sheath and the fixed size of the tendon sheath no longer allows for the swollen tendon to slide through it without it getting stuck, which is what causes the finger to snap or pop when straightened. The doctor also said that Trigger Finger Tracy’s condition likely developed from her heavy hand usage at her job, such as constantly gripping a stapler or a pair of scissors.
“Whew,” Trigger Finger Tracy sighed, “I’m so glad you know what is wrong with my finger. Now, how do we make it stop bending and snapping?” The doctor calmed her, stating that since she caught her trigger finger early, her condition can be easily treated by simply allowing room for the tendon to glide freely. This is done through a minimally invasive procedure called the Endoscopic Trigger Finger Release.
The Endoscopic Trigger Finger Release is performed using a small endoscope that is guided through two small incisions in the affected finger and palm. The endoscope allows the doctor see the tendon sheath, without opening the entire area with a large incision, as you would with the open trigger finger release. During the procedure the pulley is opened, which gives more room for the tendon to move.
Tracy was able to have the minimally invasive endoscopic trigger finger release done with local anesthesia, and went home that day. The doctor told Tracy to take it easy for the first seven days, and to keep the incision clean and dry. Now, after a week, Tracy is fully recovered and back to stapling, sorting, and organizing all those papers. And she is able to bend and straighten her finger, without the pop.
Are you suffering from symptoms like Tracy’s? Don’t wait! Delaying treatment can cause further damage and require a more complicated procedure. Make an appointment with the Hand Surgery Specialists of Texas today!